CHAARAT Gold Holdings expects to complete a feasibility study for the Tulkubash Heap Leach Project in the Kyrgyz Republic during the current quarter. The study will include an updated resource estimate for the oxide zone incorporating assay results from the 2017 drilling program.
Tulkubash forms part of the Chaarat Gold Project.
During 2017, the feasibility study was progressed in draft form and by December was around 80% complete. Resources, reserves and the mining sections are expected to be updated, costs re-evaluated and the study put into final form.
The ongoing infrastructure upgrade is crucial to ensure that construction of the heap leach project can commence in a timely manner following completion of the feasibility study.
The access road from the Chatkal Valley to the top of the Kumbel Pass is the only access to the mine and needs to be improved to ensure the safe delivery of equipment and construction supplies to site. By December the road was 65% complete with work to continue over the winter, as weather allows, with completion expected in the June quarter.
The recently completed bridge over the Sandalash River will provide access to the Tulkubash open pit for heavy mining equipment and service vehicles.
Establishing reliable mobile communications is a high priority for construction and operations at the mine and the company is well advanced to achieve this.
Earthworks for the heap leach pad are on the critical path and beginning detailed design helps de-risk the construction schedule.
The 2017 exploration program doubled the indicative length of the proposed Tulkubash open pit to around 2200 metres. The pit will connect with other previously drilled satellite pits.
The program resulted in the company completing 17,420 metres of drilling, 60% more than the planned 11,000 metres.
Chaarat’s CEO Robert Benbow said, “The development activities initiated and advanced this year will give us an advantage when we start construction. Improving access to site and communications will assist our team in delivering the project.
“It is clear that an ongoing exploration program will be an integral part of our business plan. We look forward to commencing our next season of drilling and project development to deliver Tulkubash as an oxide heap leach operation of significant scale.”