Shanta Gold has provided an exploration update on its resource development program at the New Luika gold mine, in Tanzania.
A reverse circulation drilling program comprising 3,784 metres has been completed, targeting the Elizabeth Hill Mineralised Prospect.
All reverse circulation holes drilled intersected the mineralised structure at Elizabeth Hill, in close proximity to initial ore wireframe positions, supporting the accuracy of their interpretations.
The drilling programme was commissioned in June and July 2015 with a view to obtaining improved definition of the nature and extent of near-surface ore development at this prospect. Elizabeth Hill sits within the existing mining license at NLGM, approximately four kilometres east of the NLGM processing plant.
During previous drilling campaigns, Elizabeth Hill was tested by means of wide-spaced drilling at depth, resulting in a limited understanding of near-surface ore development and gold grade. The latest drilling campaign was designed to provide close-spaced ore intersections at shallow depths and has yielded encouraging assay results over portions of the strike extent tested.
Elizabeth Hill is a linear Southeast trending topographic high which suggests that possible future opencast exploitation could be characterised by low stripping ratios.
A substantial portion of the 750m strike expression tested is characterised by encouraging gold mineralisation. Areas displaying elevated gold grades are located within two distinct zones.
With progressive process plant upgrades at NLGM enabling the Company to increase monthly ore tonnage throughput, the required head grade at NLGM has decreased. The Company is therefore in a position to exploit lower grade satellite deposits within the NLGM tenement, identified during earlier drilling phases. Low-to-medium grade gold ore from satellite deposits can be blended with high grade ore from Shanta’s Bauhinia Creek pit to ensure steady plant feed grades and optimise gold recoveries. It is envisaged that this may have a positive effect on the longer term sustainability of NLGM operations.
The Company intends to integrate drill findings into an updated resource assessment for Elizabeth Hill, after which pit optimisation studies will be commissioned. This is anticipated for completion in Q4 2015.
Results to date support the Company’s commitment to extending its resource base, following the recent NLGM resource and reserves update announced on 27 July 2015.
Shanta is considering expanding the resource development program to other satellite deposits within and in the direct vicinity of the NLGM License. Target areas include the Black Tree Hill, Ilunga and Luika South mineralised prospects.