Nusantara Resources (ASX: NUS) has announced a significant increase in Ore Reserves at its Awak Mas Gold Project in Indonesia.
The upgrade follows the completion of targeted exploration campaign which has successfully updated Mineral Resources estimation, updated open-pit mine planning, at a time when there has been a sustained increase in the gold price.
The Awak Mas JORC compliant Ore Reserve Estimate has now been updated to 35.6 million tonnes at 1.33 g/t gold for 1.53 million ounces (100% in the Probable category) compared with the September 2018 estimate of 26.9 million tonnes at 1.32g/t gold for 1.14 million ounces – an 0.39 million ounce (34%) increase.
Managing Director, Neil Whitaker, said the company has now been able to fine tune Mine Scheduling and a Production Target:
- Mine scheduling has established a mining inventory of 38.7 million tonnes at 1.32 g/t for 1.68 million ounces contained gold, which includes 2.9 million tonnes of inferred mineral resource recovered from within the open pit designs.
- Prioritisation of higher grade in the first 4 years improves gold production and cashflow profile.
- Maximising gold grade and reducing strip ratio brings forward the Salu Bulo satellite pit in the production profile.
- Improved mine scheduling delivers average of 1.71 g/t mined ore to the process plant in commissioning and the first 4 years, and stockpiles 0.4 – 0.5 g/t ore for potential processing at end of the Project.
- Plant throughput of 2.5 Mtpa produces 110,000 – 140,000 ounces/ year for the first full years.
- Life of Mine (LOM) increases from 11 years to 16 years at 2.5 Mtpa ore processing rate with low cost options being studied to “future proof” expansion to 3.9 Mtpa.
- Updated economics to be released in June 2020.
This Ore Reserve represents a step change for the Awak Mas Gold Project,” Mr Whittaker said.
“The improved production profile and extended mine life provide an outstanding base to enhance value as we progress current development funding work.”
The continued 2020 exploration programme is targeting a closer spaced drilling program to further reduce risk in future ore resource and reserve estimation. It is also targeting near mine potential including the possible extension of the Salu Bulo deposit and other incomplete studies on the mining lease.
Planning is underway for a programme of further closer-spaced drilling to lift the resource category to ‘Measured’ status and subsequently reserve category to ‘Proven’ status in the initial mining areas.
Mr Whittaker said this closer spaced drilling has the potential for an uplift in grade through the intersection of additional higher-grade vertical zones that are pervasive through the Awak Mas (Main) and Salu Bulo deposits.
In addition, the company believes there is potential to further extend the proposed Awak Mas (Main) and Salu Bulo pits.
There is also potential to include the Tarra deposit and other areas of known mineralisation in the Contract of Work into a future mine plan. This represents a near term opportunity to extend the mine life or to support a staged expansion.
The company aims to provide a further Ore Reserve update incorporating the closer spaced drilling and other exploration work in Q4 2020.