Sumatra Copper and Gold says recent geotechnical testing has revealed that the Belinau deposit at its flagship Tembang Gold and Silver Project could host an economic underground mine.
Tembang is in central Sumatra and has a JORC resource of 976,000 ounces of gold and 12.8 million ounces of silver. The company is fast-tracking the project for first production by 2013.
Results from 39 diamond drill holes covering 7475 metres at Belinau were used for the geotechnical analysis, with consultants indicating the deposit has ‘fair to good’ ground conditions to support a conventional low-cost underground mine.
Favourable ground conditions near the mine entry means that minimal capital works will be required for safe underground access. Sumatra says the depth of the Belinau deposit is relatively shallow which also improves the project’s economics and safety.
Sumatra’s chief executive officer Julian Ford says, “The test work to date confirms the proposed Belinau underground mine will be able to support conventional mechanized methods, which significantly de-risks the project both in terms of projected operating and capital costs.”
The geotechnical drill program of five diamond holes over 1033 metres was completed at Belinau in September 2011 with full results expected in February.
The company is also drilling its Tandai joint venture project in southwest Sumatra, which has an historic high grade production of 1.4 million ounces of gold. It is one of the most highly prospective properties across the 3200sqkm portfolio of Sumatran assets owned by the emerging company.