Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) said drilling has started at the Silver Peak silver project in Canada, at a lower cost than initially planned after changes were made due to bad weather initially.

Portable drill equipment is being used for 120m of drilling at the British Columbia project, compared to the proposed 500m of diamond core drilling that had been announced last month.

This will result in a significant reduction in programme cost, the company said.

Chief executive Paul Johnson said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the commencement of drilling at the Silver Peak project enabling us to secure sample core for laboratory assay testing and complimenting the work undertaken to date including the summer channel sampling which produced bonanza silver grades and significant copper and lead grades.

As the original drilling plan had to be altered due to poor weather her said a different approach was adopted using equipment appropriate to the new circumstances. 

“I thank our partners for their quick thinking adaptability that has enabled a revised drill programme to be implemented.

“Given the significant results from the sampling programme we conducted recently we are obviously eager to see the assay results from this drilling programme.”

Although the partners had secured a larger drilling rig, recent poor weather caused a degradation in conditions at the project and limited access to the property.

While fallen trees were removed, the size of the rig and supporting equipment meant it was not thought safe to proceed with the original plan, Power Metal said, which resulted in the use of man-portable equipment.

As well as the reduced cost, the portable drill produces a core of similar size to that originally intended from the larger rig and will be used to test multiple targets initially focused on the top of the lower Victoria portal. The aim is to drill at least twenty vein intersections in a 6 to 8-day programme dependent particularly on weather conditions in the project area.

Hole depth is expected to be circa 6m (20 feet) as the smaller drill enables collaring to be undertaken close to the vein, which is one of the reasons why the drill programme is smaller, but if completed as planned it will provide core from more locations across the property than the original plan, the company said.

The intention is for an accredited local laboratory to test each core sample using a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) unit to get an estimate of silver grades prior to assay testing.