East Africa-focused gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold reports that, over the past five years, it has grown its group resources threefold from 1.2-million ounces grading an average 3.28 g/t, to a currently-held 3.7-million ounces, says CEO Eric Zurrin.
He says ongoing successful exploration drilling at New Luika gold mine (NLGM), resource and reserve definitions at Singida, and “excellent progress” at Shanta’s high-grade West Kenya project have all contributed to the “impressive longevity and quality” of the company’s portfolio of gold assets.
Shanta’s resources in Tanzania comprise the NLGM Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (Jorc-) compliant resource of 1.03-million ounces grading 2.42 g/t, and the Singida Jorc resource of 885 000 oz grading 2.36 g/t.
In Kenya, the company’s prospects include the Kakamega Camp National Instrument (NI) 43-101 resource of 1.28-million ounces grading 10.6 g/t and the Ramula NI 43-101 resource of 470 000 oz grading 2.41 g/t.
Tanzanian resources make up 625 000 oz of gold reserves, grading 2.91 g/t – down slightly from 645 000 oz grading 3.04 g/t at the end of 2021 as a result of limited drilling in 2022 and reserve depletion from mining operations.
With 8 829 m drilled in 2022, Shanta notes that its exploration spend in Tanzanian was limited to $2.1-million. “[This is] less than half of that incurred in 2021 due to priority over Singida construction funding, returning overall 92 500 ounces of new reserves at NLGM,” says Zurrin.
In the country in 2022, Shanta added reserves of 92 500 oz – taking the total to 1.92-million ounces at a grade of 2.39 g/t – before depletion and enhancement, predominantly from the Bauhinia Creek and Luika underground deposits, Black Tree Hill, Elizabeth Hill and Porcupine South openpit deposits.
This served to add two more years to the life of NLGM, which is now expected to reach depletion in the first quarter of 2028.
“This marks the fourth consecutive year in which we have extended the mine life by at least another year through successful exploration, which remains key to unlocking long-term, sustainable returns for our shareholders,” he says.
Also at NLGM, Shanta’s tailings retreatment project contributes an additional 48 000 oz of recoverable gold, extending the broader NLGM operating life to at least February 2031.
Singida’s life-of-mine however, remains unchanged to the end of 2029.
Up from 1.55-million ounces in 2022, Shanta’s West Kenya reserves now comprise 1.76-million ounces, while the indicated category thereof increased from 378 000 oz in 2022, to a current 1.14-million ounces.
West Kenya’s indicated resources of 1.14-million ounces increased from 378 000 oz in 2022.
“As Singida moves into production in the very near term and transitions from a cost center to a cash generator, our exploration focus will pivot back to mine life extension in order to unlock long-term shareholder value.
The Singida gold mine is an underexplored greenstone project within the prolific Lake Victoria Gold Field, with only about 75 000 m of drilling ever completed, providing the company with a huge opportunity for reserve addition and mine life extension.
“Resource growth at West Kenya continues to impress and is an important future pillar to our investment case. Today, our West Kenya project accounts for 48% of our total resources,” says Zurrin.
Source: Mining Weekly
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