HAMBLEDON Mining has raised about 1.93 million pounds in a placement through JSC Visor Capital, a Kazakh focused investment bank. Proceeds will be used for general working capital purposes and are expected to increase the company’s flexibility in securing funding requirements for full-scale development of the underground mine at Sekisovskoye.

The deposit is at the village of Sekisovka, about 40km from the East Kazakhstan regional capital, Ust Kamenogorsk. The road from Ust Kamenogorsk to Sekisovka is sealed and provides the main route between Ust Kamenogorsk and Ridder and further on in to Russia.

Mining has been carried out from the open pit but the company plans to fully develop underground operations to boost production. In late 2007, AMC Consultants, of Perth, undertook a study of the underground project which included the conceptual mine design, infrastructure requirements and equipment selection.

The aim was to develop an appropriate mining scenario for the underground project, undertake geotechnical investigations, produce a detailed mine design, develop a mine schedule, specify appropriate mining equipment and carry out a financial analysis of the mine. The study showed it was feasible to develop an underground operation with an annual mining rate of up to 500,000 tonnes using bulk mining techniques.

Work has commenced on development of the required documentation to be presented to Kazakh regulatory authorities for approval to commence underground mining. Discussions with suppliers to source the required underground equipment to start development of the surface decline are ongoing, but outside contractors may be used initially.

Annual output from underground is expected to be some 500,000 tonnes, while the remaining plant capacity will be filled with ore mined from open pit. On the basis of the expected uplift in grades, combined (underground and open pit) annual gold production will be more than 100,000 ounces.

As part of a strategic update announced by the company on December 6, 2013, Hambledon stated that it expected capital expenditure over the life of Sekisovskoye mine to be about US$130 million. At the same time, the Board announced that it expects to fund this capital requirement principally through funds generated from operations. The Board believes that the balance of finance that will be required from external sources is US$50 million and is pleased to confirm that the company is in advanced discussions with a number of banks and other debt providers with a view to meeting further funding requirements.

The Board has also recommended that the company change its name to GoldBridges Global Resources, which it believes would be beneficial to the business of the company as it embarks on a new stage in its development.

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