Following completion of an airstrip West Wits Mining will now focus on trial mining activities at its Derewo River Gold Project in Papua province. An excavator is being moved from the airstrip to the 81 creek where initial trial mining is planned.
In mid-October two pilots from a regional airline inspected the airstrip and concluded that subject to some minor works, the airstrip was ready to begin receiving light fixed wing aircraft. The findings led to the company installing wind socks as well as widening one section of the strip.
While the excavator was being moved the company also installed a number of culverts on the access road to further improve its drainage. The fabrication of sluice boxes has also been undertaken in nearby Nabire with the boxes to be flown to the trial mining site by helicopter.
Before receiving the concentrator on order from Malaysia, West Wits will undertake the trial mining activities using a conventional alluvial recovery circuit.
Derewo River is a high-grade placer deposit that shows early stage similarities with other discoveries on New Guinea island, including Porgera, Edie Creek and Wau. It is to the northwest of Freeport’s Grasberg mine. Independent geologists believe that based on the size and shape of nuggets discovered in the area, the source of the nuggets is likely to be local.