An independent review of Manas Resources’ definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Shambesai gold project in the Kyrgyz Republic has led to re-optimization of the mine’s size.
The company’s technical team and external consultants forwarded the DFS to independent technical consultants, the Snowden Group, in the UK. It has been decided to include additional sulphide material that overlies the oxide reserves in the optimized pit shell as part of the mine production evaluated in the cashflow model. The indicated resource for this in-pit sulphide material stands at 844,000 tonnes @ 2.8 g/t gold for 75,000 ounces of gold.
Recent metallurgical test work has shown that more than 50% of this sulphide material as-mined is readily amenable to the vat leach and heap leach process proposed for the Shambesai project, with recoveries averaging 80%.
It is also anticipated that as a result of natural weathering of the remaining stockpiled sulphide material over the life-of-mine, the remainder of the mined sulphides will be processed economically during end-of-mine production resulting in an increased production of gold and consequent contribution to cash flows.
Manas says it has made a significant reduction in operating costs by re-optimizing the final size of the open pit by reducing the strip ratio for the last two years of the mine, to eliminate the final relatively costly pushback in the final years of mine production.
The combined impact of processing the in-pit sulphide material and reducing the size of the final pit shell is expected to increase gold revenue and decrease production costs over the life of the mine and result in a net increase in profit margin.
These changes mean the final DFS findings will now be reported later this month but the company says all results to date confirm Shambesai is a technically simple, low-cost, high-margin gold leach project that can be commissioned in less than 18 months for a very low capital cost.
Manas is expediting the conversion of the area covering Shambesai to a mining permit, by resubmitted its technical and economic justification (TEO) report to the recently formed Kyrgyz government agency for geology and natural resources.
Shambesai is in the Tien Shan gold belt and is expected to generate up to US$190 million during the first five years of production, with more than 200,000 ounces of gold being produced.