TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2013 /CNW/ -
- Wa Gold Project Mineral Resources increased to:
- 23.7Mt @ 1.78g/t Au for 1,355,000oz (Measured & Indicated)
- 16.7Mt at 1.58g/t Au for 849,000oz (Inferred)
- Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources increased by 33% to 1.36Moz and grade lifted from 1.60g/t to 1.78g/t Au
- Julie Mineral Resources, at Wa East, increased to:
- 9.1Mt @ 2.00g/t Au for 588,000oz (Measured & Indicated)
- 7.2Mt at 1.97g/t Au for 458,000oz (Inferred)
- Grade of Julie Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource increased from 1.52g/t Au to 2.00g/t Au
- Aduane maiden Inferred Mineral Resource of 85,000oz
- Updated Mineral Reserve and Feasibility Study due Q2 2013 will benefit from Mineral Resource classification upgrades, metallurgical optimisations, revised establishment and operating costs
- Results awaited from Yiziri, Sabala and Josephine drilling
- Cash and listed investments of ~$12M to support primary focus on new discoveries
"A near doubling of the Julie Mineral Resource to over 1.0Moz has lifted total Mineral Resources at the Wa Gold Project to 2.2Moz which, along with increases in grades and classifications, is likely to have a positive impact on our upcoming Feasibility Study and Mineral Reserve updates." said Azumah Managing Director, Stephen Stone
"We will be extending this scope of work to include results from metallurgical recovery optimisation test work on all existing deposits and other key operating cost impacting inputs plus we will also revisit a higher 1.5mtpa start-up plant throughput option."
"With a healthy cash position, Azumah's primary objective for 2013 will be to grow Mineral Reserves and mine life through aggressive exploration campaigns directed towards the pipeline of brownfields and greenfields targets we have identified on our prospective 3,100km2 licence holdings where only 10% has been effectively explored."
Azumah Resources Limited (ASX:AZM TSX:AZR) ("Azumah" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it has delivered on two key objectives by increasing global Mineral Resources at its wholly owned Wa Gold Project in northwest Ghana by 32% to 1.36 million ounces Measured and Indicated and 0.85 million ounces Inferred.
Azumah also substantially increased Mineral Resources at its Julie deposit by 84% to 0.59 million ounces Measured and Indicated and 0.46 million ounces Inferred (refer Table 1, Chart 1 and Figures 1, 2 and 3).
The Julie Mineral Resource at Wa East is especially pleasing because its shallow-dipping mineralisation has been extended to 150m below surface (from the previous ~60m) with the thickest lodes showing good continuity and grade down-dip to that depth. The mineralisation remains open at depth and there is more delineation drilling to be undertaken towards the western flanks of the 6km east-west striking Julie structure.
The improved Julie Mineral Resource, combined with several other targets still at an early stage of evaluation at Wa East, implies that the area will play an increasingly important role in Azumah's development ambitions.
A 33% increase in material classified as Measured and Indicated reflects Azumah's focus on better defining mineralisation that has a higher likelihood of being converted into Mineral Reserves.
Importantly, some 40,000oz of mineralisation captured within or lying adjacent to optimised pit outlines, but excluded from Mineral Reserves due to its previous classification as Inferred material, is now likely to be brought in to Mineral Reserves - currently 430,000oz gold (refer Table 2). This is in addition to any revision of Mineral Reserves arising from the expanded Mineral Resources and the updated Feasibility Study
Kunche, Bepkong and Aduane
There was a modest uplift of the overall gold inventory at Kunche and Bepkong reflecting a more favourable reinterpretation of mineralised lodes close to surface and a deepening of the resource to ~180m below surface, albeit slightly narrower than expected. This was accompanied by improving classifications whereby Measured and Indicated mineralisation increased by 22%.
At Aduane, which lies in the 2km gap between Kunche and Bepkong, a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource of 85,000oz has been delivered. Aduane comprises a series of south plunging 'ore shoots' that are likely to provide supplementary feed for the nearby Kunche plant.
Table 1: January 2013 Mineral Resource Estimate (0.5g/t Au cut off) - Estimated by CSA Global Pty Ltd
|Cut-off||Measured||Indicated||Measured and Indicated||Inferred|
|0.5 g/t Au||Tonnes||Grade||Gold||Tonnes||Grade||Gold||Tonnes||Grade||Gold||Tonnes||Grade||Gold|
|(Mt)||(g/t Au)||(oz)||(Mt)||(g/t Au)||(oz)||(Mt)||(g/t Au)||(oz)||(Mt)||(g/t Au)||(oz)|
Appropriate rounding has been applied
Details of deposit geology, the drill hole database, QA/QC procedures and Mineral Resource estimation methodology are appended.
Exploration is primary focus in 2013
Azumah's primary focus in 2013 is now directed towards increasing Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves through discovery across its portfolio of ranked brownfields and greenfields targets and areas of broader interest extending throughout the Company's 3,100km2 Wa Gold Project licence holdings (refer Figure 1). These encompass some ~150 strike kilometres of prospective Birimian greenstone terrain; the same rocks that host the majority of Ghana's and West Africa's major gold deposits.
This work was initiated in 2012 using regional and local datasets, broad and local scale structural interpretations in combination with auger and aircore based geochemical sampling programmes and follow-up drilling campaigns.
The completion of resource, metallurgical and geotechnical drilling associated with the finalisation and update of the Feasibility Study and delivery of Stage 1 Mineral Reserves means that the majority of the Company's geological team and resources can now be directed towards target generation, prospect testing and evaluation.
The Company has also established geological teams to fast-track the evaluation of the more distant regions of its licence holdings which have received little attention to date.
Results from drilling completed in late 2012 at prospects close to Kunche (Yiziri, Sabala) and at Josephine, in the Wa East area, are expected by month end.
Mineral Reserve and Feasibility Study update
The recently completed Wa Gold Project Feasibility Study, based on a 1Mtpa conventional gravity/CIL plant located adjacent to the Kunche deposit, demonstrated that the project is viable with no development or infrastructure impediments.
The Stage 1 Mineral Reserve of 430,000oz (6.8Mt @ 2.0g/t Au) with a strip ratio of <5:1 and 92.4% overall gold recovery, produced net annual free cash flows of approximately $40 million after royalties and tax over the project's initial six year mine life (refer ASX/TSX release dated 27th August 2012).
Azumah believes that there are several enhancements that can be made to the Feasibility Study, not least being the benefits likely to flow through from the expanded Mineral Resources and improved grades and classifications. It is also reviewing and optimising metallurgical test work at all deposits, establishment capital and operating costs and several other key study inputs. This is scheduled for completion in Q2 2013.
For instance, at Julie (refer ASX/TSX releases dated 19th July 2012 and 10th September 2012), additional metallurgical studies have indicated that higher metallurgical recoveries may be expected from Julie mineralisation compared to the average 87.6% assumed in the Feasibility Study. Further metallurgical test work is required to confirm these preliminary results. Representative metallurgical samples, including samples from recently delineated mineralisation, have been collected and testing is underway. This work is scheduled to be completed at the end of Q1 2013.
The Company is also extending geotechnical studies at Julie to provide more structural information for forthcoming pit design reviews.
With the likelihood of additional Mineral Reserves at the Wa Gold Project, an earlier option study that considered a 50% higher 1.5Mtpa nominal throughput gold recovery plant is being revisited. If adopted, this could see the Wa Gold Project consistently produced 100,000oz gold per year.
Given these positive developments on several fronts, and the extended work programmes emanating from these, Azumah is expecting to deliver its Mineral Reserve update in Q2 2013.
Azumah is well placed to continue its exploration and project development work with cash and listed investments totalling ~$12 million.
The Kunche, Bepkong and Aduane deposits all occur in a left-stepping dilational jog within a large mineralised shear zone system. Gold mineralisation occurs in multiple, parallel, sub-vertically dipping, lodes, often defined by quartz veins (particularly at Kunche), which are hosted by a mixed sequence of meta-sedimentary host rocks, comprised mostly of siltstones and shales (carbonaceous at Bepkong). Individual lodes may be up to 30m thick (true width) and a few are remarkably consistent along strike (more than 1,000m at Kunche). The deepest intercepts of the main lodes are just over 200m below surface. The southern lode at Kunche and those at Bepkong have a N-S strike orientation, while in contrast, the main northern lode at Kunche is aligned along a NNW orientation. The latter is postulated to be the controlling structural trend in the district. Mineralisation at Aduane is confined to southerly plunging "ore shoots" and there is evidence that a similar plunge exists in a peripheral lode on the western margin of Kunche.
The Julie deposit is hosted by a set of shallow (30°), north-dipping, quartz lodes within a thrust fault (shear zone), hosted by granitoid of variable composition (diorite, quartz diorite, monzo-diorite, tonalite). High-grade pods (shoots?) are located adjacent to cross-cutting faults, which offset the lodes along strike. The deepest intercepts at Julie are about 150m below surface, and the thickest lodes are continuous down-dip to that depth.
Drilling Database and QAQC Procedures
The drill hole databases utilised for the Kunche, Bepkong, Aduane, Julie and Collette Mineral Resource updates comprised:
Most of the holes were drilled with a reverse circulation (RC) rig, although selected holes were drilled for diamond core to assist with geological interpretation and to facilitate metallurgical test work, and the measurement of geotechnical parameters and specific gravity. All drill holes were geologically logged and sampled by Azumah geologists. All samples collected before March 2012 were prepared and assayed (standard 50g fire assay) by the SGS laboratory in Tarkwa. Since then, all samples have been prepared at Azumah's own sample preparation facility, and the samples are assayed at a brand new Perth, Australia laboratory owned by MinAnalytical Laboratory Services (a member of the Ausdrill group of companies). The laboratory provides independent supervisors to manage the sample preparation, on site, in Ghana.
Standard QAQC procedures are applied to all sample batches (including the insertion of field duplicates, blanks and certified reference "standards"). No major issues have been identified.
Resource Estimation Method
Perth based independent geological consultants, CSA Global Pty Ltd, were contracted to complete the Mineral Resource estimations for all four deposits, having already been involved with previous Mineral Resource estimates completed for Kunche, Bepkong and Julie earlier in 2012.
Azumah geologists initiated the exercise by interpreting the "mineralised envelopes" of lodes on cross sections, based on a minimum lode thickness of 3m and a 0.3g/t Au cut-off (with a maximum internal dilution of 2m). These interpretations were used as guides by CSA Global staff who constructed wireframe models of each individual lode, at each of the deposits. Weathering surfaces, based on the geological drill logs, were defined for the deposits, which were subdivided into fresh, transition and oxide material, to ensure appropriate in-situ bulk densities were applied in the calculation of resource tonnes.
Top-cuts (derived from independent statistical analyses of data from each deposit) were applied to all assays used in the resource estimates, to reduce the effect of high-grade outliers, and assays were length composited for geostatistical analysis and interpolation. The grade variography of each deposit was analysed separately, treating the major modelled lodes as separate domains, in order to assess the most appropriate block modelling parameters for each deposit. Ordinary Kriging (OK) was used to interpolate grades into the blocks of each resource model (which were checked using an Inverse Distance estimation).
Densities used to calculate the Mineral Resource estimates were:
The classification of each of the Mineral Resources into Measured, Indicated and Inferred categories is based on various parameters, including geological understanding of the deposits, drill sample density, coverage and quality of assay and density data, and various geostatistical criteria (e.g. sample support for modelled blocks and kriging efficiencies). Measured Mineral Resources are all located within 100m of the surface and represent those parts of the deposits that are defined with most confidence. No Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources have been defined at Aduane and the peripheral lodes defined by a single drill intercept are always classified as Inferred.
Table 2: Summary of Wa Gold Project Mineral Reserves (Coffey Mining Pty Ltd - August 2012)
|Mineral Reserve Summary|
|(As of 21st Aug 2012)||Proved||Probable||Contained Gold|
|Tonnes (Mt)||Grade (g/t Au)||Tonnes (Mt)||Grade (g/t Au)||oz Au|
Values have been rounded
Competent Person's Statement
The scientific and technical information in this report that relates to the in-situ Mineral Resource estimates for the Kunche, Aduane and Julie deposits is based on information compiled by Mr Dmitry Pertel, who a full-time employee (Manager - Resources) of CSA Global Pty Ltd. Mr Pertel is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' and to qualify as a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43 -101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Mr Pertel has reviewed and approved the disclosure of the relevant scientific or technical information contained in this announcement that relates to the Kunche, Aduane and Julie Mineral Resource estimates.
The scientific and technical information in this report that relates to the in-situ Mineral Resource estimates for the Bepkong deposit is based on information compiled by Mr David Williams, who is a geological consultant employed by CSA Global Pty Ltd. Mr Williams is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' and to qualify as a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43 -101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Mr Williams has reviewed and approved the disclosure of all scientific or technical information contained in this announcement that relates to the Bepkong Mineral Resource estimate.
The scientific and technical information in this report that relates to the geology of the deposits and exploration results is based on information compiled by Mr Nick Franey, who a full-time employee (General Manager Geology) of Azumah Resources Ltd. Mr Franey is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' and to qualify as a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43 -101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Mr Franey is the Qualified Person overseeing Azumah's exploration projects and has reviewed and approved the disclosure of all scientific or technical information contained in this announcement.
For further information, including a description of Azumah's standard data verification processes, quality assurance and quality control measures, and details of the key assumptions, parameters and methods used to estimate the Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves set out in this report and the extent to which the estimate of previously declared Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves set out herein may be materially affected by any known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or relevant issues, readers are directed to the technical report titled "Wa Gold Project, Ghana 43-101 Technical Report", effective as of 27 August, 2012, available on www.sedar.com.
The reported Mineral Reserves have been compiled by Mr Harry Warries. Mr Warries is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and an employee of Coffey Mining Pty Ltd. He has sufficient experience, relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity he is undertaking, to qualify as a Qualified Person as defined in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards of November 2010, as well as a Competent Person as defined in the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves' of December 2004 ("JORC Code") as prepared by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Minerals Council of Australia. Mr Warries gives Azumah Resources Limited consent to use this reserve estimate in reports.
This release contains forward-looking information. Such forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect" and "intend", and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could", or "might" occur or be achieved, and other similar expressions. In providing the forward-looking information in this news release, the Company has made numerous assumptions regarding: (i) the accuracy of exploration results received to date; (ii) anticipated costs and expenses; (iii) that the results of the feasibility study continue to be positive; and (iv) that future exploration results are as anticipated.
Management believes that these assumptions are reasonable. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information. Some of these risks, uncertainties and other factors are described under the heading "Risks Factors" in the Company's annual information form available on www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information is based on estimates and opinions of management at the date the statements are made. Except as required by law, Azumah does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking information even if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Readers should not place reliance on forward-looking information and readers are advised to consider such forward-looking statements in light of the risks set forth in the Company's continuous disclosure filings as found at the (Canadian) SEDAR website.
Image with caption: "Chart 1: January 2013 Mineral Resource Estimates - Summary (CNW Group/Azumah Resources Inc)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130115_C5897_PHOTO_EN_22571.jpg
Image with caption: "Figure 1: Exploration Targets and Status - January 2013 (CNW Group/Azumah Resources Inc)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130115_C5897_PHOTO_EN_22570.jpg
Image with caption: "Figure 2: Kunche, Bepkong and Aduane Deposits - Plans and Long Sections showing Mineral Resources (CNW Group/Azumah Resources Inc)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130115_C5897_PHOTO_EN_22569.jpg
Image with caption: "Figure 3: Julie Deposit - Plan and Long Sections showing Mineral Resources (CNW Group/Azumah Resources Inc)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130115_C5897_PHOTO_EN_22568.jpg
SOURCE: Azumah Resources Inc
For further information:
Tel: +61 (0)418 804 564
Robert Gundelach - Australia
+61 (0) 451 896 420
Joanna Longo - North America
+1 416 238 1414