The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2017

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

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16 | ASIA Miner | Volume 14 • Issue 3 | 2017 Papua New Guinea GEOPACIFIC Resources continues to focus on assessing optimisation opportunities at the Woodlark Gold Project on Woodlark Island as it drives the joint venture project along the path to production. Many of the project's technical aspects have been in- vestigated in detail and Geopacific is now examining areas such as modular construc- tion techniques, refining the processing plant flowsheet and technology. The company says the development work it is undertaking is unaffected by its take- over bid for JV partner Kula Gold, which has been extended to July 20 to allow time for Geopacific and Kula shareholders to contin- ue discussions. Geopacific says considerable effort is being applied to optimising mining and ar- eas of interest include optimal mine design, refining grade scheduling to shorten the capital payback period and equipment se- lection. Capital savings directly affect the financing period of the mine while operational costs directly affect the size of the gold reserve. The company says that optimising both pro- vides for a robust project. Each of the areas under review may provide incremental sav- ings with the potential to deliver attractive project economics. Managing director Ron Heeks said, "Woodlark is a solid project – a multi-million ounce gold deposit with approvals in place to build a 1.8 million tonnes/annum plant and opportune timing in the mining cycle. "Woodlark is beneficially differentiated by being on an island. Cost effective modular build options and operational logistics come into play because we are on the coast with access in a protected bay with deep water. "Our focus is to optimise the project and take it into production. We are taking a comprehensive approach to our review and optimisation work program, with positive results and encouraging level of progress." The PNG Minister for Mining recently granted a 2.5-year extension on the Mining Lease of the project so that it can be devel- oped within the 20-year lease. The original 20-year lease included a con- dition to complete construction and com- missioning of the project by July 4, 2017, and Geopacific has successfully applied to the government to maintain the currency of the lease. The Minister has approved the varia- tion and the 2.5 year extension includes a 12-month period to vary the technical as- pects of the project resulting from Geopa- cific's definitive feasibility study optimisation work. GOLD Mountain Limited intends to undertake a diamond drilling program at the Wabag area of its flagship Crown Ridge project in Enga Province of the Highlands Region. The drilling is expected to begin in the current quarter and will test multiple gold targets with the aim of completing a maiden JORC resource estimate. There will be three angled holes totalling around 500 metres in length drilled in high-grade gold targets in quartz veins adjacent to the rim of the postulated volcanic crater. Nine vertical drill holes totalling around 500 metres in length will be drilled in extensions of free gold mineralisation beneath the area of bulk sampling pits. The company says deeper drilling targets may be added to the program if early results warrant it. It anticipates mobilisation of the drill rigs and crews to site in August. Gold Mountain director of exploration Doug Smith said, "The planned drilling program will be the next in a series of coordinated investigations to test the potential for a major gold deposit at Crown Ridge. "Previous exploration results since commencement of the com- pany's operations at Crown Ridge in 2014, indicate a significant gold target hosted by high-grade quartz veins near the rim of the postulated volcanic crater and this will be one of the targets for the upcoming drilling program. Diamond drilling will also test the area of the bulk sampling pits for depth extensions of the near surface mineralisation. "At this stage, we are looking at shallow diamond drill holes for the conglomerate mineralisation. However, deeper holes will be consid- ered if the early results show continuation of the prospective rocks below the planned drill hole depths. "Results from these holes will provide information on the geolog- ical continuity of the coarse gold mineralisation, to enable the esti- mation of a maiden mineral resource at Crown Ridge." Earlier this year, the company extended an agreement to secure the prospective 328sqkm tenement which adjoins the Crown Ridge project. The exclusivity period was to originally end on May 19 but this was extended to July 15. The Crown Ridge, Wabag tenements occur in the New Guinea Thrust Belt, arguably the richest geological gold zone in PNG. Gold Mountain plans Crown Ridge drilling Drilling at the Woodlark Island joint venture project of Geopacific Resources and Kula Gold. Woodlark focus on optimisation

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