iddle Island Resources (“Middle Island” or “the Company)” has made significant progress on the 100% owned 537,000oz Sandstone Gold Project (“Sandstone” or “the Project”) since our August 2017 initiation report.
plActivities, for which results have predominantly been positive, have largely been concentrated on the Two Mile Hill deposit, with work including drilling and ore sorting metallurgical test work on the primary Tonalite Deeps mineralisation. The key aim of the work is to upgrade the current 24mt to 34mt (900,000oz to 1,500,000oz) Exploration Target to a JORC 2012-compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) and to assess the viability of this as a low operating cost bulk underground mining operation (possibly through sub-level cave “SLC” mining). The results will be used in the ongoing underground mining concept study, and if results are positive this will be incorporated into the currently suspended Pre-feasibility Study (“PFS”).
Plans for any operation at Two Mile Hill (and for that matter the entire Sandstone project) will be to use the current 600,000tpa plant to reduce capital costs. Mining will include a significant cut-back of the current open pit, and then depending upon the results of current studies to treat underground primary mineralisation that has been pre-concentrated through ore sorting. In addition to the requirement to use the current plant (and hence keep capital costs low), successful ore sorting should allow a significantly higher throughput underground operation to supply the mill, thus taking advantage of economies of scale in mining operating costs – given the expected 1.1g/t to 1.4g/t grade of the Tonalite Deeps mineralisation (although Reserve grades may be higher) any operation will need to be very low cost to be viable.