Misima gold project is an open pit gold mine located on the Misima Island in the Solomon Sea, Papua New Guinea. The project comprises of a single exploration licence, EL1747, which is owned by Kingston Resources.
The project was earlier jointly owned by Pan Pacific Copper (PPC) (30%) and Kingston Resources (70%). PPC is owned by JX Nippon Metals and Mining and Mitsui Mining and Smelting. Kingston Resources became the 100% owner of the mine in November 2019 following a non-binding term sheet agreement signed with PPC to acquire the latter’s interest in the mine.
The earlier exploration programmes at the Misima mine targeted the copper and gold porphyry systems, before it was acquired by Kingston Resources.
The company has been undertaking an exploration programme at the mine site since May 2018 to bring the focus back to gold. Mining studies at the mine are expected to commence in 2020. Kingston Resources aims to complete the mineral resource update, pre-feasibility study and ore reserve estimate for the project by the end of 2020.
History of Misima gold project
The first gold discovery on the Misima Island was made in 1888 and underground mining continued at the site on a small scale until World War II. Placer Dome commenced exploration activities at the mine in 1977 and started open pit mining in January 1988.
The Misima mine produced approximately 84Mt of ore between 1989 and 2004 before being closed down. The ownership of EL1747 went to Barrick Gold after it acquired Placer Dome. Barrick Gold later relinquished the license, which was granted to Gallipoli Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of PPC.
Canada-based WCB Resources signed an exploration farm-in agreement in December 2011 with PPC to earn up to 70% interest in EL1747 by spending £5.73m ($9m). WCB Resources spent £5.18m ($6.8m) on the mine before being acquired by Kingston Resources in November 2017.
Kingston Resources completed the farm-in in August 2018 to own 70% stake in the mine.
Misima gold project location
Misima gold project is situated in Misima Island, which is part of the Louisiade Archipelago and lies in the Milne Bay Province in the Solomon Sea of Papua New Guinea. The Misima Island lies 625km to the east of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.
Misima gold project geology
The Misima Island includes cretaceous to Paleogene metamorphic rocks that are further divided into the western Awaibi Association and the overthrust eastern Sisa Association, which hosts the gold and copper mineralisation. The two associations are separated by an original thrust fault with later extensional activation.
The Misima gold project consists of five deposits including Umuna Extensions, Misima North, Umuna East Side, Quartz Mountain and Ginamwamwa.
The Umuna Extensions deposit has resource along strike and inclines down with a scope for shear-hosted and skarn mineralisation. The Misima North deposit is unexplored with a length of more than 4km and has an untested strike open to north.
The Umuna East Side deposit has mineralised structures to the southeast side of the deposit. Its strike length is 1.8km and there is proof of high grade shallow mineralisation.
The Quartz Mountain deposit has mineralisation, which is open at depth with an average hole depth of 90m. The Ginamwamwa deposit, which was discovered in 2018, yielded high-grade results in surface geochemistry and has a strike of more than 500m.
Misima gold project mineralisation
The mineralisation on the Misima Island is of Intermediate Sulphidation Epithermal mainly associated with porphyry copper gold style alteration. It is laterally zoned belonging to a well-developed complex base metal skarn style affiliation.
The mineralisation styles occurring at the mine include multiphase hydrothermal breccia, stockworks, skarn, jasperoidal replacement, galena and minor tetrahedrite. The rock types that host the gold mineralisation include the Ara greenstone, the overlying Umuna shist, Halibu Limestone and other suites of complex intrusives.
Resources at Misima gold project
The inferred and indicated resources at Misima gold project are estimated at 82.3Mt graded at 1.1g/t of gold and 5.3g/t of silver.
Mining at Misima gold project
Open pit mining method using truck and shovel/loader is expected to be implemented at Misima gold project. The mined ore is likely to be processed at processing plant located within the property.
The final product from the processing plant will be packaged and shipped to customers.