Goldplat plc / Ticker: GDP / Index: AIM / Sector: Mining & Exploration
12 April 2011
Goldplat plc ('Goldplat' or 'the Company')
Goldplat plc, the AIM quoted gold producer, is pleased to provide an operations update on its gold mining operation in Kenya ('Kilimapesa Gold'), the Nyieme gold development project in Burkina Faso, the Banka gold project in Ghana and its two gold recovery businesses in South Africa and Ghana.
Kilimapesa Gold mine - Kenya
Exploration programme due to commence May 2011 with the aim of increasing the JORC compliant resource base to in excess of 0.5 million oz of gold
Four key targets have been selected - Phase one of the exploration programme to target Vim/Rutha and Red Ray zones and comprise surface mapping and a 28 drill hole diamond core drilling programme
Continuity of the quartz veins at Vim/Rutha target confirmed by recent geophysical IP surveys - laterally continuous over 300 - 400m
Three parallel quartz veins mapped on surface and can be traced over a 5km strike at Vim/Rutha target
Nyieme Gold project - Burkina Faso
2,500m RC drilling programme due to commence on 25 April 2011
Soil sampling and trenching phases completed - drilling programme designed to test geological model and to identify further target areas to significantly increase existing ore resource
Banka Gold Project - Ghana
Finalising definitive contract - full technical report to be published once complete outlining resource development plans
Gold Recovery - South Africa and Ghana
South Africa - new mill to double the milling capacity of the high grade circuit has been secured
Ghana - Golden Star Wassa operation contract to process surface material performing in line with management expectations - targeted gold delivery rate of 4,500oz per annum
Additional agreement signed with Adamus Resources Limited to process Gold Recovery Ghana's surface materials off-site - expected gold recovery rate of 3,000oz per annum
Investigating establishing gold recovery bases in Tanzania and Burkina Faso collect by-products to process at South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants
Goldplat CEO Demetri Manolis said, "Whilst gold recovery at our South African and Ghanaian recovery plants are performing solidly and generating significant revenues, exploration and building our resource base across our brown-field development projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Ghana remains central to our growth strategy as we look to become a mid tier gold producer in Africa.
"Recent developments at our Kilimapesa gold mine in Kenya are highly encouraging. Initial plant operations are now underway at the mine, and it is our intention to commence a defined exploration programme with the aim to increase the current gold JORC compliant resource towards the plus 0.5 million oz mark. Of particular significance are the Vim/Rutha and Red Ray targets which display continuity of quartz veins over a 5 km strike, which we believe illustrates the potential of the area to increase ore resources.
"Similarly our Nyieme gold project in Burkina Faso has also yielded highly positive results and demonstrates great development potential; with a 2,500m RC drilling programme due to commence next week I believe we will start to see significant traction of this highly prospective project. With a healthy cash position and a streamlined resource development focus, I believe Goldplat will deliver on its project milestones over 2011 and generate significant value for shareholders."
Kenya: Kilimapesa Gold
The Company's focus with regard to its 100% owned Kilimapesa gold mine located in the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt in western Kenya, is to develop it into a small profitable gold mine with an initial target of producing approximately 5,000oz Au per annum within 12 months of being granted its mining licence. In line with this, the Company has implemented a defined exploration strategy with the aim of increasing Kilimapesa Gold's JORC-compliant resource base, which currently stands at 1.65Mt at 2.44 g/t Au for 129,000 oz of gold at a cut-off grade of 1 g/t of gold for all categories, to in excess of 0.5 million oz Au.
Goldplat has collated and analysed all available data including geological mapping, soil sampling, geophysical data, trenching and borehole information as well as extensive artisanal mining workings. Four key targets have been selected for further exploration with a view to publishing an upgraded JORC-compliant resource by the end of 2011. Phase one of the exploration programme will be focussed on the Vim/Rutha and Red Ray targets which the Company believes have the greatest ore resource potential and will comprise surface mapping and 28 drill hole diamond core drilling to intersect the veins to a depth of 60m. Phase one will commence in May 2011 and is expected to last six weeks with an estimated cost US$200,000.
The Vim/Rutha target area is located less than 2km to the south of Kilimapesa Hill. Several narrow (between 5cm and 100cm thick) steeply dipping auriferous quartz veins trending east-west have been mapped and are laterally continuous over 300-400m. The continuity of the quartz veins has also been confirmed by recent geophysical induced polarisation ('IP') surveys. At least three parallel quartz veins have been mapped on surface and can be traced over a 5km strike with only minor fault displacement. Several other veins have been mapped which are interpreted as splays off the main vein system. Previous reverse circulation ('RC') drilling and trenching have returned grades on the veins up to 22 g/t Au. Phase one exploration over the Vim/Rutha target will comprise surface mapping to precisely define the surface expression of the veins and 20 diamond drill holes.
The Red Ray target is located 1km east of Kilimapesa Gold's processing plant. Two main veins striking east to west and dipping steeply to the south can be traced along the crest of two small hills which are approximately 1.5km in length. These veins are thought to correlate to the veins currently exposed in Adit B at Kilimapesa Hill 5km to the west. Extensive artisanal activity has taken place along the crest of the hills and the veins are also exposed at the base of the hills in the adits. Additionally individual rock chip samples of up to 10 g/t Au have been previously recorded by Goldplat. The Red Ray Phase one exploration programme will consist of surface and underground mapping as well as eight diamond drill holes.
The metallurgical plant at Kilimapesa Gold started processing existing stocks located on the property in February 2011. The loaded carbon product is currently being stockpiled and an elution plant and smelter have been ordered and are due to be commissioned in July 2011, at which point Kilimapesa Gold will produce gold bullion for export.
Environment and Corporate and Social Involvement
Drilling of water monitoring boreholes have now been completed as specified by the National Environmental Monitoring Agency (NEMA). The mine has requested a full Occupational, Safety and Health Audit (OSHA) plus associated training in order to ensure full compliance. The Company continues to enjoy excellent relationships with the local community and has implemented a number of local initiatives. As agreed with the Kenyan Minister of Environment and Natural Resources a project to introduce indigenous trees to the local area has been initiated in which every homestead (1,158) in the area will be planted with one indigenous and one fruit tree. Goldplat has also started a bee keeping project which it hopes will stimulate a honey-producing industry for local participants and a cattle dip has been commissioned which is currently being utilised by the local community. Furthermore during the recent drought Goldplat ensured steady water supply to the local community and hospital. With the success of the recent community initiatives the Company is currently exploring other areas to create sustainable activities for the local community.
Nyieme Gold Project - Burkina Faso
At the Company's 246 sq km Nyieme gold project in Burkina Faso the planned exploration programme for the first half of 2011 is progressing well and the 2,500m RC drilling programme is due to commence 25 April 2011. With the soil sampling and trenching phases completed the RC drilling programme is designed to test the geological model and to identify other areas on the licence area with the aim of significantly increasing the existing ore resource of 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t Au for 57,501 oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au for all categories.
Four target areas have been targeted for drilling based on soil values, rock chip sampling and the presence of artisanal workings. To the south of the property there is an extensive artisanal camp with circa 100 workers. The artisanal workers are currently working on a vein on which is up to 2m thick and trends into the Nyieme licence. This vein will also be drilled as part of the 2,500m RC programme, the results from which are expected to be published in July 2011.
Banka Gold Project - Ghana
In November 2010 we signed a binding memorandum of agreement with Gulf Coast Resources Inc ('Gulf'), a Canadian mining company, to acquire a 90% interest in the Banka Mining Lease, a ten year renewable mining lease for gold and associated minerals covering an area of 29 sq km located in the highly prospective Amansie East and Asante Akim South Districts of the Ashanti Region of the Republic of Ghana ('Banka Gold Project'). On 3 February 2010 Gulf applied to the Government for a renewal of the Banka Mining Lease, and the Company is pleased to report that this has now been granted by the Government of Ghana. In light of this Goldplat is currently finalising the definitive contract and will update the market on this development in due course. Once the contract has been signed Goldplat will announce a full technical report outlining its proposed development plan of the Banka Gold Project aimed at proving up the economic viability of the project and publishing a JORC compliant resource.
South Africa and Ghana - Gold Recovery Businesses
Goldplat's gold recovery business' in South Africa and Ghana are continuing to perform strongly and in line with management expectations.
In South Africa, further progress has been made to secure new raw materials of which Goldplat Recovery currently has circa 32,850 oz of contained gold, to ensure the long-term supply of gold bearing feedstock for processing. Additionally a new mill to double the milling capacity of the high grade circuit has been secured and the refurbishment process has begun.
Market research is also in progress to examine the possibility of establishing a base in Tanzania to collect gold bearing by-products from the gold mining industry in Tanzania for export to Goldplat Recovery in South Africa for processing. The Company will make an informed decision on this once research has been completed.
In Ghana, Gold Recovery Ghana's ('GRG') processing operation is continuing to perform strongly and is generating significant cash flow for the Company. The by-product contract that GRG has with Goldfields, AngloGold Ashanti and Golden Star are operating smoothly and its toll processing project with Golden Star's Wassa operation is on target with a gold delivery at a rate of circa 4,500 oz Au per annum.
GRG has also signed a similar agreement with Adamus Resources Limited to toll process further GRG's surface materials. Deliveries will start in April 2011 and GRG expects to deliver gold at a rate of 3,000 oz Au per annum.
The Company is also investigating the possibility of establishing a base in Burkina Faso to collect gold bearing by-products from the gold mining industry for export to GRG in Ghana. Initial work on this is encouraging and could generate healthy cash flow for GRG if undertaken.
This announcement has been reviewed by Mr. Mark Austin, the group geologist for Goldplat who has more than 25 years of relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa ('GSSA') and has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.
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For further information visit www.goldplat.com or contact:
|Demetri Manolis, CEO||Goldplat plc||Tel: +27 (0) 11 423 1203|
|James Joyce||WH Ireland Limited||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666|
|Felicity Edwards||St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177|
Goldplat plc is an AIM-listed gold producer with operations in Africa. Its strategy is to consolidate its position as a gold producer in Africa and build itself into a mid-tier gold company.
The Company has two recovery businesses based in South Africa and Ghana, which, by safely disposing mining by-products, fulfil an important aspect of the mines' environmental management programmes. The South African plant is located near the centre of the East Rand Goldfield and raw material feedstocks are sourced from many of the major South African mining companies, including AngloGold Ashanti, Goldfields, Harmony, DRD Gold and other smaller producers. The Ghana plant, located in the free port of Tema, provides access to raw materials from mines in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote D'Ivore, Senegal, the DRC and Mauritania, as well as Ghana.
Goldplat's strategy is to build itself into a mid-tier gold producer, through the acquisition of known deposits with targets of between 200,000 and one million contained ounces. Kilimapesa Gold is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldplat and is developing the potential of the 213 sq km Lolgorien licence area located in the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt in western Kenya. Kilimapesa Gold commenced initial production in January 2009 and an aggressive exploration and development programme resulted in a maiden JORC compliant resource being reported in October 2009.
Goldplat also has an option over the 246 sq km Nyieme Gold Project located in Burkina Faso, which includes known high-grade quartz vein structures, with drill core results showing up to 17.83 g/t gold over one metre and 11.67 g/t over five metres. A maiden resource was announced in December 2010 of 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t Au for 57,501oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au for all categories but the Company hopes to increase this through further exploration.
Additionally, the Company has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Gulf Coast Resources Inc ('Gulf'), a Canadian mining company for the acquisition the Banka Mining Lease, a ten year renewable mining lease for gold and associated minerals covering an area of 29 sq km located in the Amansie East and Asante Akim South Districts of the Ashanti Region of the Republic of Ghana.
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Source: Goldplat plc via Thomson Reuters ONE