Completes DFS for Shambesai Gold Project
As reported previously, the DFS for the Shambesai Gold Project has been completed by the Manas technical team in association with a number of external consultants, and has since been the subject of review by independent technical consultants Snowden Group United Kingdom.
As part of the review it has now been decided to include additional sulphide material that overlies the oxide reserves in the optimised pit shell as part of the mine production evaluated in the cash flow model. The Indicated Resource for this in-pit sulphide material stands at 844,000 tonnes at 2.8 g/t gold for 75,000 ounces of gold. Please see ASX announcements dated 14 November 2011 and 25 January 2012 for further information.
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 Gold Project with recoveries averaging 80% in Leachwell© testwork of this material. Also it is 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.
The final size of the open pit has been re-optimised to eliminate the final relatively costly pushback in the final years of mine production. This change will result in a significant reduction in operating costs associated with a reduced strip ratio for the last two years of the mine and the life-of-mine overall, while only resulting in a marginal reduction in oxide gold production.
It is expected the combined impact of processing the in-pit sulphide material and reducing the size of the final pit shell will increase gold revenue and decrease production costs over the life of the mine and result in a net increase in profit margin.
Due to the changes in the open pit design and impacts on the plant design from sulphide treatment the final DFS findings will now be reported in late March 2012. All results to date confirm the Shambesai Gold Project as a technically simple, low-cost, high-margin gold leach project that can be commissioned in less than 18- months for a very low relative capital cost to its peers.
In order to expedite the conversion of the area covering Shambesai to a mining permit, the Company has recently resubmitted its TEO Report (Russian interpretation for Technological and Economic Justification Study) to the recently formed Kyrgyz State Agency for Geology and Natural Resources (SAGNR) for review.
The report shows that Manas has delineated sufficient gold reserves to justify the grant of a mining license as currently the Shambesai Gold Project is held under the Isfairamsai exploration permit. The next step is for the Mineral Resource Committee to convene and approve the report where, upon approval and payment of a bonus fee, the Shambesai gold project will be entitled to the issue of a mining licence.
After the grant of the mining license, a parallel two-stage License Agreement process begins. License Agreement 1 requires the preparation and assessment of the detailed mine and process design, including the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). License Agreement 2 involves the issuing of all relevant operational and land use permits based on the various sections of the approved detailed design and ESIA.
Manas have commenced the ESIA work, including initial discussions with the State and local community with respect to rezoning Shambesai for an industrial operation.
First results from Manas's winter drill campaign are expected shortly, and the drilling and exploration program to increase the mine life at Shambesai will continue in the June 2012 Quarter after community consultation is completed.
Details of the Manas Resources 100% owned Kyrgyz Gold Projects can be found at the Company's comprehensive website:
About Manas Resources Limited
Manas Resources Limited (ASX:MSR) is an Australian-based explorer in the Kyrgyz Republic with substantial resources, high grade drill targets and a large highly-prospective land holding in the world class Tien Shan gold belt.
Manas Resources Limited