Antilles tables high grade maiden resource in Cuba
ASX-listed Antilles Gold and its Cuban government-owned joint venture partner GeoMinera have produced an impressive maiden gold and silver resource estimate for their La Demajagua deposit in Cuba. The resource estimate shows a 7.7 million tonne open pit mining operation with an impressive average grade of 2.9 grams per tonne for 720,000 ounces of gold and 38.6 g/t silver for 9.57 million ounces of silver.
The mineral resource estimate was conducted by West Australian mining consultant, Cube Consulting and has been prepared in line with the 2012 JORC code.
Data utilised in the resource estimate was calculated from historic drilling along with assays received to date from Antilles’ drilling campaign across a portion of the currently defined strike length at the La Demajagua deposit.
Importantly, results used in the resource estimate from recent drilling make up only about half of the 25,000m program currently underway at La Demajagua. The company expects the published gold and silver resource estimate figures to grow in about two months when results from all drillholes recently completed return from the lab to provide a more complete picture.
Antilles expects to release another resource estimate for the La Demajagua deposit in approximately four months.
The mineral resource was estimated using a cut-off grade of 0.8 g/t gold and the pit optimisation shell was set at US$2,000 per gold ounce in order to calculate the economically viable ore.
Preliminary estimates show an initial six-year mine life for open pit operations and if additional drilling ends up on the money, this may be followed by an underground operation. Drilling specifically targeting underground mining prospectivity is planned to commence in 2027 in order to coincide with ongoing open pit operations.
Antilles has recently tabled some impressive gold and silver recovery rates from metallurgical test work conducted on the gold and silver deposit. The initial test work indicates its ore is relatively soft with a modest abrasion index and boasts a 93.6 per cent and 97 per cent recovery rate for gold and silver respectively.
Once preliminary metallurgical test work on the mineralisation is complete, a financial analysis from the ongoing scoping study for the open pit mine will be published. Results from the scoping study are expected to be released in mid-February 2022.
The tabling of an initial open pit resource that is already three quarters of the way towards hitting the magical million ounce mark is perhaps testimony to the mineral rich nature of some of the more exotic countries around the world that have not traditionally thrown out the welcome mat to foreign entities.
It is rare these days even in Australia to make a greenfields gold discovery that is open-pittable and still going almost 3 grams per tonne gold – all of which begs the question – just how big could this deposit and its surrounding mineral endowment be?
With strong backing from the Cuban government and a scoping study underway – the to do list for Antilles is shrinking everyday and production is edging ever closer.
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