Update for Kilimapesa Gold Mining Project in Kenya
Goldplat plc, the AIM quoted gold producer, is pleased to report that development and production at its Kilimapesa gold mining project ('Kilimapesa Gold') in Kenya , a 50-50 joint venture with International Gold Exploration AB, is progressing in line with management expectations. The Company is focused on establishing additional gold resources and upgrading the total resource to be JORC-compliant by the end of 2009. The current small scale gold production is primarily intended to fund this early development work.
- Focused on maximising the ore resource through development of the orebody
- Revenue from the processing of development ore plus some high grade tailings anticipated to cover the operating cost of the mine - first shipment of loaded carbon and concentrates planned for the end of April 2009
- Underground development intersected two new veins which are robust in nature - one vein returns a stretch value of 15m of 9.3 g/t Au over a width of 115cms
- Grade control samples taken after every blast are returning values of up to 120 g/t Au
- Adit B Diamond Drilling ('DD') programme confirms veins at depth below current underground workings with encouraging values of up to 4.6 g/t Au over 150 cms
- DD commenced at the Meghor target area, which has potential for high grades based on local artisanal returns
- Investigation of other known high grade areas with surface mining potential continues
- Stockpiling of artisanal tailings continues - 1,700 tonnes of tailings currently in stockpile and a further 1,500 tonnes secured by contracts
- Environmental Impact Assessment ('EIA') submitted to the Kenyan authorities for granting of a full Mining Licence, in final stages of assessment
Goldplat CEO Demetri Manolis said, "With the early production at Kilimapesa Gold performing well and our underground development producing excellent results underpinning the increasing potential of the project, I believe we are well placed to build the project into a highly profitable gold mining operation. With the current favourable gold outlook and consensus pointing to a strong year ahead, we intend to take full advantage of the current gold demand as we increase our production and efficiencies at the mine, which will complement our profitable gold recovery operations in South Africa and Ghana and increases our already robust investment case.
"Additionally with our increased cash generation and strong balance sheet, we have the opportunity to acquire additional high quality grade assets in order to fulfil our strategy of building a mid-tier gold producer in Africa ."
Production and Newly Refurbished Plant
The refurbished plant at Kilimapesa Gold is now operating in line with management expectations after initial "teething" downtime when it was commissioned in January 2009. To date the mine has milled nearly 400 tonnes of development ore with thickener grades between 3 and 5 g/t gold ('Au') with concentrate values of up to 1,000 g/t Au and carbon loading between 2,000 and 5,000 g/t Au. The values are particularly encouraging as they confirm the chip sampling from the development. The Company is targeting to increase production to 900 tonnes per month of which 750 will be from underground development and the balance from high grade tailings. Average grades are expected to be in excess of 4 g/t Au yielding between 4 (124oz) and 6 kg (187oz) Au per month.
The blending of high grade tailings has commenced and the first shipment of concentrate and gold-loaded carbon is ready to export to a refinery in South Africa at the end of April 2009.
The plant continues to be powered by diesel generators, however the delivery of grid power to the mine site, which will reduce operating costs, is expected imminently. The infrastructure for the grid power is within 600m of the plant site, which will allow for easier implementation.
The strategy at Kilimapesa Gold of developing the ore body for the first year and covering those costs from the development ore, with additional high grade tailings as a sweetener, is bearing fruit.
As a result of increased efficiencies, development rates continue to improve monthly. A further 70m of mine development was achieved by the end of March 2009 and plans indicate that rates will peak at 100m per month with an expected 500m of vein strike length, and over 500m of raises being available by the end of 2009.
Two additional veins, the Mid Vein and the North Vein, have been intersected as targeted. All the veins are sub-parallel with the Mid Vein lying approximately 40m north of the South Vein and the North Vein about 50m north of the Mid Vein.
The Mid Vein is a robust vein with thicknesses up to 100cms and displaying visible gold. The total exposed strike in development is now 32m. The first 15m of chip sampling has returned an average gold value of 9.3 g/t Au over 115cms and grade control samples taken after every blast are returning values of up to 120 g/t Au.
The North Vein is expected to be the most continuous of the three veins, evidenced by the continuity of the corresponding abandoned artisanal workings on surface. These workings can be traced over a strike length of over 500m. The morphology of the vein exposed in the 24m of underground development, to date shows that this vein is attaining thicknesses of up to 75cm. Chip sample assay values are pending, but grade control samples are returning values of over 8 g/t Au.
Additionally, the opening up of an old adit 150m to the east of Adit B has enhanced the understanding of the mine's geological model. This adit has over 150m of existing development, all of which was chip sampled in February 2009. The geological model illustrating three major sub-parallel veins at Kilimapesa Hill has now been confirmed and the long term development planning for the mine reflects this.
The management is confident that the current development strategy, which includes stoping next year, will assist in creating a JORC-compliant resource, thereby maximising the life of mine.
The 5 hole DD programme results are considered to be very encouraging, despite the poor core recovery due to the fractured ground conditions. Firstly, the depth extension of the South Vein that has been developed from Adit B has been proved, with intersections up to 20m vertically below the vein being recorded. Secondly, considering the poor core recovery, the assay results indicate that economic gold values also continue at depth. Thirdly, the veins were intersected at the targeted depth which demonstrates that there are no major structural disturbances. These results signify that the development of a new adit 60m below Adit B can be planned with increased confidence.
The results of the drilling programme at Adit B are shown in the graph.
An additional 5 hole DD programme for the potential high grade Meghor target area has commenced. The first hole has been completed and the second is underway. Results will be announced when all 5 holes have been drilled and data analysed. Furthermore, the Company has identified areas where high grade artisanal mining has taken place and is currently exploring these areas through trenching and subsequent diamond drilling with a view to high grade, low tonnage surface mining.
Artisanal Tailings Stockpile
Stockpiling of artisanal tailings continues, however due to the very heavy rains experienced in the area during January and February, the amount of tailings delivered to the plant were minimal. With daily deliveries of tailings now resumed, the total stockpiles amount to 1,700 tonnes with a further 1,500 tonnes secured by contracts.
Environmental Impact Assessment ('EIA')
The EIA has been submitted to the Kenya Environmental Agency (NEMA) and is in the final stages of assessment. We look forward to updating the market with further developments in due course.
Mining Licence Application
The full Mining Licence application has been submitted to the Commissioner of Mines and Geology.
This announcement has been reviewed by Mr. Mark Austin, the group geologist for Goldplat who has more than 25 years' relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa ('GSSA') and has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.
For further information visit www.goldplat.com or contact:
Demetri Manolis, CEO Goldplat plc, Tel: +27 11 423 1203, Mob: +27 82 454 7392
James Joyce WH Ireland Limited, Tel: +44 (0)20 7220 1666
Bill Sharp / David Scott Alexander David Securities Limited, Tel: +44 (0)20 7448 9820
Felicity Edwards / Hugo de Salis St Brides Media & Finance Ltd, Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177
Goldplat plc is an AIM-listed gold producer with operations in Africa . Its strategy is to consolidate its position as a gold producer in Africa and build itself into a highly profitable mid-tier gold company, leveraged through revenue generated from its gold recovery businesses.
The Company has two recovery businesses based in South Africa and Ghana, which, by safely disposing mining by-products, fulfil an important aspect of the mines' environmental management programmes. The South African plant is located near the centre of the East Rand Goldfield and raw material feedstocks are sourced from many of the major South African mining companies, including Anglogold Ashanti , Goldfields, Harmony, DRD Gold and other smaller producers. The Ghana plant, located in the free port of Tema, provides access to raw materials from mines in Mali , Guinea , Burkina Faso , Benin , Cote D'Ivorie, Senegal , the DRC and Mauritania , as well as Ghana .
Goldplat's strategy is to build itself into a highly profitable mid-tier gold producer, through the acquisition of known deposits with targets of between 200,000 and one million contained ounces. To this end, in a 50/50 JV, it is developing the potential of the 213 sq km Lolgorien licence area ('Kilimapesa Gold'), located in the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt in western Kenya. Kilimapesa Gold commenced initial production in January 2009 and an aggressive exploration and development programme has been implemented to define a JORC compliant resource at the project.
Additionally the Company is currently evaluating gold recovery operations in Tanzania and Zambia and also has joint venture agreements with Black Economic Empowerment ('BEE') partners in place to take advantage of mining opportunities in South Africa .
Glossary of Terms
STRIKE: the horizontal direction of a planar body (90º to the dip direction)
TAILINGS: the residues from the processing of ore
ADIT: a near-horizontal tunnel driven into a hillside
Goldplat is a profitable, African gold recovery services company . . .More info...
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