Southern Arc Minerals has received a NI 43-101-compliant resource estimate for its flagship West Lombok property. Company officials say the report by SRK Consulting Canada confirms the company’s model for a multi-pit project.
The West Lombok estimate, conducted by SRK Consulting Canada, shows an inferred resource totalling 1.49 million gold ounces, 1.82 million silver ounces and 397.3 million pounds of copper from three open-pittable epithermal gold deposits and one porphyry copper deposit.
“This estimate confirms Southern Arc’s model for a multi-pit project on a number of epithermal gold deposits on the property and enhances the area’s potential for tonnage porphyry copper-gold mineralization,” says Southern Arc’s president and COO Mike Andrews.
The estimate is based on drilling at four locations in the 13km-by-7km mineralized belt. Both Southern Arc and SRK believe the estimate can be expanded and upgraded via exploration.
The three gold deposits – Raja, Bising and Tibu Serai – are estimated to hold 11.78 million tonnes averaging 1.5 grams/tonne gold, for contained metal of 567,820 ounces of gold, with an additional 1.82 million silver ounces from the Raja deposit.
Meanwhile, the Selodong porphyry copper mineralization is estimated at 66.75 million tonnes averaging 0.43 grams/tonne gold and 0.27% copper for 922,800 gold ounces and 397.3 million copper pounds. The company says all reported resources have been constrained by Whittle-optimized open pit shells.
Southern Arc and previous project operator Newmont Mining have completed more than 55,000 metres of diamond core drilling on the three main prospects at the property – Pelangan, Mencanggah and Selodong – since 1996. Of these holes, 99 were within the current resource report and the rest were exploratory or focused on different targets across the asset.
The Canadian junior explorer notes the West Lombok asset hosts other mineral occurrences, and already-drill tested ‘favourable ground’. The SRK report speaks of “at least four separate mineral deposits within a 10km strike length,” with both “epithermal gold and porphyry copper-gold deposits identified and a large portion still remains to be explored in detail.”
Currently deposits remain open along strike and at depth, according to SRK. Further drilling could discover additional mineralization “especially at Raja where the possibility of finding mineralization amenable to underground mining seems very good.”
In late 2012 after a strategic review, Southern Arc implemented a strategy to pursuing advanced-stage gold projects in new jurisdictions. It also seeks further drilling at West Lombok.
“This resource estimate represents a major milestone for Southern Arc and demonstrates that the West Lombok property holds significant potential on both the epithermal and porphyry fronts,” says company chairman and CEO John Proust. “With this resource estimate in hand, we are now in a position to advance substantive conversation with potential partners to fund and advance the West Lombok property.”