Crater lodges PNG mining lease application

GOLD explorer Crater Gold Mining has lodged an application for a mining lease with the Papua New Guinea Minerals Resources Authority covering its Crater Mountain high-grade zone in PNG.
Crater lodges PNG mining lease application Crater lodges PNG mining lease application Crater lodges PNG mining lease application Crater lodges PNG mining lease application Crater lodges PNG mining lease application

Local artisanal miners mined an estimated 15,000 ounces between 2005 and 2012 using rudimentary means and Crater is targeting 10,000 high-grade ounces of gold production in the first year of mining.

The company has been exploring the HGZ since August last year through the development of an underground adit and cross cuts, which passed through a 15m wide zone of intense brecciation.

Crater said the zone contained several narrow gold-bearing mineralised structures correlating well with the surface artisanal workings.

Very high grades of coarse free gold mineralisation in the structures will support a small, highly selective narrow vein mining operation, requiring simple mining infrastructure and recovery of gold by gravity separation without the need for complex processing technology.

Mining will be carried out underground by handheld mining methods at a rate of approximately 1000 tonnes per month.

A process plant has been sourced in Africa especially designed and built in modular form for simple installation and ease of operation.

The development has been designed to allow for an early start to production once a mining lease is granted.

Crater Gold managing director Greg Starr said fast-tracking gold production remained the company's priority.

"We are excited to be progressing the rich HGZ to production, as this will generate strong cash flow to assist ongoing development activities," he said.

"We believe that gold can be extracted from the HGZ via a simple process that requires modest capital with low operating costs.

"Our view is that first year production of 10,000 high-grade ounces is achievable."

Subject to the timing of the grant of the mining lease, gold production is expected to begin in the third quarter 2014.

Shares in Crater Gold were last trading at A7.8c.

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