The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2015

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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54 | ASIA Miner | October-December 2015 Central Asia AN incident at the solvent extraction (SX) section of Central Asia Metals (CAM) Kounrad copper cathode producing facility in Ka- zakhstan in June has led to the company reducing its production target for 2015. The target has been revised down from 13,000 tonnes of cathode copper to 12,000 tonnes. During normal production on June 26 a problem occurred in the SX section which resulted in a signifcant quantity of the or- ganic inventory being lost to the dumps within a very short time frame. After inspection, it was identifed that one of nine weir plates in the mixer settler had fallen out of position, resulting in the ability of the organic inventory to escape from the circuit onto the dumps. The problem was rectifed the following day and the plant was started again but at a much lower fow rate. This continued for sev- eral days until the site team stabilized the plant and determined the full extent of the loss of organic inventory. CAM's CEO Nick Clarke said the company would strive through- out the remainder of 2015 to mitigate the position but estimated the impact on guidance would be approximately 1000 tonnes. Less than a year after the start of the Kounrad Stage 1 Expansion program, the SX-EW extension was successfully commissioned in May. The US$13.4 million program included construction works and equipment installation for the extended SX-EW facilities, all un- dertaken by company personnel. The extra mixer-settler tank increased hourly solution treatment capacity by 33% to 1200 cubic metres and the additional 24 elec- tro-winning cells increased daily plating capability by 42% to 50 tonnes of copper. The upgrade also included installation of an addi- tional 10MW transformer substation. The expansion and additional 5.6MW boiler capacity installed to- wards the end of 2014 increased name-plate annual capacity from 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of cathode copper. While the incident reduced 2015 guidance, the company remains on track to achieve 15,000 tonnes in 2016. In early July Nick Clarke said the Kounrad SX-EW plant had op- erated for 38 months at an average utilization rate of 98%, and the incident was the frst such interruption in production. In the second quarter of 2015 the plant produced 3093 tonnes while in the frst half it produced 5444 tonnes, up 6.9% on the 5094 tonnes produced in the frst half of 2014. The increase was largely due to the expanded boiler-house capacity resulting in higher solu- tion volume treatment rates during winter. ABUNDANT visible gold has been panned from an exceptionally rich mineralized outcrop at the eastern end of the Southern Gold Zone at Aucu deposit within White Cliff Minerals' Chanach Cop- per-Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic. The new outcrop extends the SGZ to at least 2500 metres with visible gold identifed in three separate locations over 2200 metres. High grade trench sample assays have also been returned from SGZ with the best being 3 metres @ 11 grams/tonne gold, includ- ing one metre @ 17.9 grams/tonne. SGZ is 400 metres south of the inferred Aucu resource of 1.2 million tonnes @ 4.2 grams/tonne for 156,000 ounces and is easily accessed from existing tracks. The new zone will be targeted in an upcoming drilling program which is hoped will signifcantly increase the inferred resource. White Cliff managing director Todd Hibberd says the company has now identifed three major mineralized systems, each extending over 2500 metres and each containing visible gold at surface in more than one location. "The upcoming drill program will enable us to conduct frst pass drilling of this new zone while also extending the footprint of the existing high grade deposit. "Based on rock sampling, trenching and drilling to date the com- pany has established a medium term exploration target of between 15 million and 20 million tonnes grading between 4 and 5 grams/ tonne for about 2 million to 3 million ounces." Todd Hibberd says the target will be initially tested by the drilling program which will be fnalized by the end of the year, with addition- al drilling required in 2016. The tonnage and grade ranges for the target were determined by applying the approximate average grade from the existing JORC-compliant resource across known surface expressions of mineralized zones. Following the announcement of maiden inferred resource esti- mates for Aucu gold deposit and Chanach copper deposit, White Cliff resumed exploration at Aucu in the June quarter with initial bulldozer road cuttings revealing two new mineralized zones ap- proximately 600 metres along strike from the Upper Gold Zone (UGZ). Panning of crushed samples revealed numerous particles of visible gold. In addition the company conducted a detailed magnetic survey covering 15sqkm that has revealed signifcant structures relating to the mineralizing events. This will improve drill targeting at the UGZ and Lower Gold Zone. Chanach covers 83sqkm and is in the western part of the Tien Shan Belt, a mineralized zone extending for more than 2500km in Central Asia. Kounrad incident impacts guidance White Cliff Minerals' Chanach project is in the northwest of the Kyrgyz Re- public, within the Tien Shan Belt. Visible gold panned at Aucu outcrop

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