Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (AIM:CGH)has announced an increase in Reserves at its Tulkubash gold project in the Kyrgyz Republic following the receipt of results from a 20,000m drilling programme undertaken in 2019.
Chief Executive Officer, Artem Volynets, said the drilling programme tested targets north-east of the prior Resource boundary, and has enhanced the project economics by adding ore to the previously defined pits, and to increase understanding of prospectivity of the wider licence area.
Mr Volynets said drilling within the existing Resource footprint demonstrated increased continuity in and between the ore zones and was successful in optimising pit designs.
Following the receipt of results from the drilling Proven & Probable Reserves increased from 22Mt to almost 25Mt with a slightly increased grade of 0.95 g/t compared to 0.92 g/t before;
The amount of ounces increased by 14% to 749 koz compared to 658 koz in the published bankable feasibility study;
Mr Volynets said that in addition, the programme was successful in adding new ounces to the Resource along strike to the northeast of the prior Resource footprint, principally in the Shir Canyon area.
The drilling to the north east also disclosed significant additional mineralisation that will require more drilling to demonstrate continuity to be a classified Resource in the future. This has defined a broad area of mineralisation, some of it high-grade, representing a significant target to be further explored
“I’m pleased to report the results of the 2019 drilling programme at our Tulkubash gold project in the Kyrgyz Republic,” Mr Volynets said.
“The drilling programme followed the announcement of the 2019 Feasibility Study and has delivered a 14% increase in the ore reserve statement to 749koz at a higher grade of 0.95g/t, adding even more years of life to what was already an economically robust project, while also improving our understanding of this exciting asset.
“The next phase of the work programme is focused on further developing the mine plan within the next couple of months. First production is still expected in late 2021.”
“Now that the Tulkubash project has advanced to construction stage, with well-defined pits, the company has decided to constrain the Resource estimate with an constrained pit shell in order to address this requirement.
“This has led to a decrease in tonnage and contained ounces in the Mineral Resource, with no effect on the Reserve. At the same time it ensures that a higher percentage of the Resource will be converted to Reserve. The company considers this to be a robust Resource Estimate.
Mr Volynets said construction continues at Tulkubash and first gold production is on track for late 2021.
The largest portion of the reserve is contained in the Main Zone (MZ) Pit (18.2 Mt). To the northeast of the MZ Pit lies the Mid Zone, composed of nine small satellite pits, accounting for a further 3.9 Mt of ore. Beyond the Mid Zone lies the East Zone, which contains another 2.5 Mt in two separate pits. The East Zone is not fully drilled off and offers the opportunity to continue growing the reserve in the 2020 drill season.