Central Asia Metals (CAM) is acquiring an 80% interest in the subsoil use contract (SUC) for the Shuak copper exploration property in northern Kazakhstan from local company GRK-Aksu. The company signed a framework agreement at the third UK-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC).
The agreement was signed in the presence of Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Investments and Development Yerlan Khairov and the UK’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment Greg Hands.
CAM intends to invest US $2 million in exploration activities at Shuak, which was extensively explored during Soviet period. The project has a Pre-GKZ (State Commission on Mineral Reserves) resource of 327,000 tonnes of contained copper at a grade of 0.66% copper.
Shuak is a copper and gold exploration project in the Akmola Oblast region, approximately 300km north of the capital city Astana and 40km northeast of the regional centre Stepnogorsk. The licence area is 197sqkm and contains three target areas that warrant immediate and detailed exploration for copper and gold.
The property was explored between 1973 and 1991, with historic work including geochemistry, geophysics, trenching and drilling. During this time, more than 45,000 metres of diamond holes were drilled and resource estimation to historic Soviet standards was undertaken. This demonstrated a pre-GKZ resource at Mongol V, CAM's priority copper oxide exploration target area.
In quarter two of 2017 CAM intends to commence field-based exploration work, predominantly at Mongol V. During the 2017 exploration season, the company plans to design an approximately 1800 metre trenching program and to undertake approximately 8000 metres of drilling at Mongol V and other priority areas. CAM's 2017 exploration budget for Shuak is approximately US$1 million.
CAM business development director Gavin Ferrar said: “We are delighted to have agreed terms to acquire a majority stake in Shuak, which we have identified as an attractive opportunity given its location and economic prospects. We believe the project can be rapidly appraised to ascertain its copper oxide resource potential.
“Given our success to date at Kounrad, our initial target would be to develop another similar SX-EW operation at Shuak. Longer term, we also plan to explore the primary copper porphyry target at depth.
“We have built our business around our successful copper production facilities at Kounrad and are very comfortable operating in Kazakhstan. We are pleased to have been able to extend our footprint in Kazakhstan with this acquisition, and to begin to progress the Shuak property.”