Lion One is preparing a robust economic model for a high-grade gold mine near Nadi on Fiji’s Viti Levu Island, after promising results from its 2012 work program.
“The company’s geological and metallurgical programs carried out during 2012 overwhelmingly support the continued advancement of Tuvatu,” says Lion One’s chairman Walter H Berukoff. “In conjunction with further engineering and environmental studies, our objective for 2013 is to build a robust economic model and complete the permitting process for a high-grade gold mining operation in Fiji.”
Lion One will continue to test, confirm and substantially expand historic exploration, 80,000 metres of previous drilling, and metallurgical data from previous feasibility studies. “Management believes that the 12,166 hectare Tuvatu property has further resource potential beyond the resource area drilled to date which is a surface area measuring 600 x 200 metres drilled to depths of 300 metres.
“Tuvatu’s geological setting and location in the Navilawa Caldera draws scale comparisons and geological similarities with the Vatukoula gold deposit in the neighbouring Tavua Caldera, recognized as one of the giant gold deposits of the Southwest Pacific,” says Walter Berukoff.
The 2012 diamond drill program covered a total of 3003 metres of core recovered from 15 diamond drill holes. Drilling targeted western extensions of the mineralized structures in the Tuvatu Resource area, with initial results confirming high grades including intersections of 3.78 metres @ 16.15 grams/tonne gold, including 0.09 metres @ 248 grams/tonne and 7.49 metres @ 23.03 grams/tonne including 0.11 metres @ 855 grams/tonne.
Lion One expects to increase the resource base through continued drilling and is confident that additional near-surface resources identified to date can also be converted to mineral resources. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is being completed on Tuvatu, with the findings expected to be filed by June 2013.
The company says its employees and their families are safe after Cyclone Evan forced the government to declare parts of the nation a State of Natural Disaster late last year. There was damage to the Lion One workshop in Nadi and the Tuvatu mess hall, however the site camp facilities are intact.
In other news, the company has signed an agreement to acquire an 81.5% stake in Perth-based Avocet Resources, which if approved, will be implemented in April.