Piskanja borates drilling lives up to Erin’s expectations

By Myles McCormick
Published: Friday, 27 November 2015

Erin looking to bring Piskanja resource up to measured status as stricter building rules boost boron demand for borates.

TSX-V-listed Erin Ventures Inc. announced in November the results of seven assay drill holes at its Piskanja borates project in Serbia, noting that they met management’s expectations.

Piskanja currently holds an NI 43-101 mineral resource of 5.6m indicated tonnes, averaging 30.8% boron trioxide (B2O3) and 6.2m inferred tonnes, averaging 28.8% B2O3.

An 11-hole diamond drill programme was carried out in October as part of efforts to raise the confidence level of the resource to the measured category.

Results released to date from the most recent Piskanja drilling programme have shown intersections of between 13 and 44 metres, with B2O3 grades between 30% and 46%.

Erin also recently announced that it had completed a non-brokered private placement offering for a total of Canadian dollar (C$) 698,500 ($526,000*), consisting of convertible and unsecured debentures.

The funds are to be used to finance further development of Piskanja and for working capital purposes, Erin said, adding that the debentures carry a fixed interest rate of 12% per annum, with a maturity date in June 2018.

In September, the company completed a separate drilling programme at its Jarandol Basin boron site, which borders Piskanja.

Elsewhere in Serbia, mining giant Rio Tinto is pushing ahead with plans for its Jadar borates and lithium project (see p12). 

According to the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) latest available data, worldwide production of boron minerals reached 3.72m tonnes last year, up from 3.54m tonnes in 2013. "In Europe and developing countries, more stringent building standards with respect to heat conservation were being enacted," the USGS said, referring to boron mineral demand in 2014. "Consequently, increased consumption of borates for fibreglass insulation was expected. Continued investment in new refineries and technolo-gies and the continued rise in demand were expected to fuel growth in world production during the next several years."

*Conversion made November 2015