Sundance to expand Mbalam resource drilling
Sundance Resources has signed an agreement with Western Australian-based international drilling services group, Wallis Drilling, to supply two additional drilling rigs to support the ongoing resource drilling program at Exploration Permit 92, covering the Mbalam Iron Ore Project in West Africa.Under the agreement, Sundance’s 90 percent-owned subsidiary, CamIron SA has committed to the manufacture of two new reverse circulation drilling rigs. These rigs will complement the diamond and reverse circulation/diamond multi-purpose drilling rigs previously secured from Wallis Drilling.Sundance’s resource drilling program at Mbalam commenced earlier this month with drilling at the key Mbarga Prospect. The additional reverse circulation rigs are scheduled to be available by the end of 2007 – effectively doubling Sundance’s drilling capacity for its proposed 2008 Bankable Feasibility Study.The new reverse circulation rigs, to be manufactured in South Africa, will be capable of drilling up to 300m depth. Wallis Drilling will be responsible for the supply and operation of both rigs.Sundance’s CEO, Don Lewis said the new reverse circulation rigs had been specifically selected to best meet the operating conditions at Mbalam. Mr Lewis said the manufacturer had extensive experience in the supply of drilling rigs in Africa.“Importantly, by commencing immediate manufacture of these rigs, we have locked in delivery of the additional drilling capacity required to meet Sundance’s aggressive timetable to expand its resource drilling program at Mbalam,” Mr Lewis said.“The agreement not only signals our confidence in the Mbalam Project, and its growth potential, but also reflects the importance of our alliance with Wallis Drilling.“This has allowed us to secure critical equipment to meet our schedule despite current tight market conditions in the resources sector,” he said.“The alliance is driven by our long-term view of the Mbalam Project as an emerging iron ore province,” Mr Lewis said. “We were not looking for a one-off drilling contract.”Sundance said the company’s 2007 exploration program objectives were to define a JORC compliant Inferred Mineral Resource over the Mbarga Prospect, before confirming the broader potential of the company’s exploration permit to support a high-grade hematite resource in excess of one billion tonnes.