... Over 200,000oz expected in 2012
By Freelance reporter - YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI
SIMBERI gold mine on Tabar Islands, New Ireland, has discovered new high grade gold at its Pigiput deposits that are expected to pump up production to 200,000 ounces (oz) a year in 2012.
At current gold prices, this junior miner is expected to rake in over $US200 million (K540m) annually. The good news is also expected to shoot up the company's share prices and its total capitalization. The mine is 100 percent owned by Allied Gold of Australia and listed on the Australian, Toronto and London stock exchanges.
The mine which recently made news headlines for the wrong reasons - government-ordered shutdown over health and safety issues - had resumed production two weeks ago. Its current production is 75,000oz - 80,000oz a year.
Information released to the stock markets on Friday said Simberi gold mine is on track to deliver in excess of 200,000 oz a year after reading high grade samples from diamond drill cores at its Pigiput deposit which is part of its ongoing 17,000m drilling program that is nearing completion.
A resource/reserve upgrade will follow, underpinning a minimum 100,000oz per annum sulphide expansion pre-feasibility study which is due in coming months.
Allied Gold executive chairman Mark Caruso said on Friday that the results were an integral part of the Oxide and Sulphide studies aimed at lifting gold production from the current 75,000-80,000oz per annum to in excess of 200,000oz per annum in 2012 from both Simberi's oxide and sulphide ore open-pit sources.
He said: "Today's drilling results, particularly the recent result from SD068 which include a down hole intercept of 314m from 2.82g/t gold from 70m, continue to highlight the grade and depth potential of the Simberi mine and its associated satellite deposits of Pigiput and Pigibo."
The Pigiput prospect lies in the central part of Allied's 100 percent owned mining lease ML136.
Allied said that as its Phase II resource drill-out programme nears completion, the latest results supported the study, which foresees production at Pigiput kicking off at 100,000oz per year. The studies target increasing total oxide and sulphide production to in excess of 200,000oz per year by 2012.
The Phase II program will be completed by the end January 2010 and Phase III will continue through the March 2010 quarter.
The latest drilling and assay results from 11 diamond core holes have further defined the extent of gold mineralisation, which still open to the north east. A further seven holes were completed and two are in progress.
The gold intercepts have expanded the data available for a resource update for the deposit. Both resources and reserves for the Pigiput and adjacent Pigibo deposits are scheduled for re-estimation by the end of the first quarter in 2010. Further drill testing of the extents of gold mineralistion at both prospects, is set to continue in Phase III.