Drilling and evaluation work in the past six months has allowed Avalon Minerals to detail an inferred mineral resource of 26.6 million tonnes of copper ore at its Viscaria project in Sweden.
The bulk of resources are in Viscaria's B Zone with 24.1 Mt @ 0.8% Cu for 182,000t contained copper, while D Zone now has 2.5 Mt @ 1.6% Cu for 40,000t.
Avalon had acquired Viscaria and the Adak projects in from Phelps Dodge Exploration Sweden AB in March 2008.
Avalon's executive chairman David McSweeney said the size and continuity of copper resources in both B and D zones was significantly larger than anticipated when the project was acquired.
We already know that the Viscaria mine was a profitable producer when it shut down in 1997, however, what we don't know is just how deep the system is, and how many more deposits may exist within the company's landholdings, McSweeney said.
Avalon has undertaken a scoping study and will begin infill drilling and exploration in September with the objective of delineating near-surface potential open cut resources in the A and B zones, as well as the higher grade, plus 2% Cu, that is known in A Zone.
The company holds three permits at Viscaria and has applied for additional permits over open ground along strike to the north.
Viscaria was operated by Outokumpu from 1982-97 and produced 12 Mt @ 2.3% Cu, 2% zinc and 0.3 grams/tonne gold from the A Zone. The mine closed when the copper price was about $US1/lb about the time Outokumpu made a strategic decision to exit mining operations.
McSweeney said Kiruna has a population of over 20,000 and, being the site of world class iron ore mining operations, has a skilled mining workforce.
In a report linked to Avalon's announced exploration success, Green Leader Equities Research said the overriding objective at Viscaria was to get repeats of the wide, consistent and high grade lodes.
Avalaon has the undrilled depths and a 14 kilometre of mine sequence strike, Green Leader said.
For Viscaria, Green Leader estimates an initial capital expenditure for an annual throughput of $US50 million for milling 500,000 tonnes per annum, to produce 9,500t of copper in concentrates for annual net profit after taxation of $US19 million.
Green Leader.s principal John Macdonald said Avalon's other project is on the Adak Dome and is in the volcanogenic massive sulphide copper-zinc district of Sweden's Skellefte district. Adak is 250 km south of Viscaria and in that region State-owned Boliden mined 12 Mt of ore from four underground mines around the rim of a dome strictire, between 1942-78. The average grade of the Adak mines was 1.5% Cu with zinc, gold, copper and silver credits.