Kilimapesa Hill gold project expansion, Kenya – update

Aerial view of the Kilimapesa gold project

Photo by Caracal Gold

31st March 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Kilimapesa Hill gold project expansion.


Project Owner/s
Caracal Gold.

Project Description
Kilimapesa Hill has an established, producing, shallow underground mine and processing plant, as well as an extensive prospecting permit. 

A scoping study highlighted robust project economics, with upside to expand production.

The robust economics, together with the low strip-ratio mine plan and simple heap-leach processing route to deliver an estimated 24 000 oz/y of gold over a ten-year life-of-mine (LoM), reinforces the potential of the project.

Caracal also has considerable upside potential, with further resources already defined in the Kilimapesa Hill project, along with the additional drilling planned on the hill in early 2023, which it believes will easily double the LoM.  

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated after-tax internal rate of return of 114%, with a two-year payback period.

Capital Expenditure
The expansion will require an estimated $19.7-million in preproduction capital.

Kilimapesa benefits from the capital invested to date by GoldPlat and Caracal.

Planned Start/End Date
Existing infrastructure and the processing plant will enable Caracal to complete the expansion project in six months. 

Latest Developments
Caracal Gold has announced the discovery of a new high-grade zone above the current underground workings and above the areas drilled as part of the mineral resource estimate of the Kilimapesa Hill deposit. 

This is in addition to the more than 1.3-million ounces of Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant gold resources that the company already controls. 

“As we open and expand the opencast mining pits to support the expansion project, we expect to find more of these zones. The potential size of this high-grade zone is encouraging,” Caracal CEO Robbie McCrae has said. 

The discovery is estimated to allow for about 360 t/d of high-grade material, with average grades from 3.31 g/t to 4.74 g/t to be processed. A mining plan confirming 90 days of high-grade material has been prepared and is being actioned, with exploration to define the full potential of the high-grade zone under way.  

The area is being accessed from the current openpit, and with exploration drilling currently on hold, a decision was made to bulk sample the area and process the material through the milling plant. 

Currently, six zones have been mapped and sampled and had bulk samples processed. These zones  – 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B – have been intensively sampled and the resulting information put into a mining plan that supports throughput of high-grade ore through the milling plant for March and for the second quarter of this year. 

The exploration team is now extending the work on the high-grade zone to define the full extent of the strike, this will be followed by trenching and sampling and, ultimately, drilling, to define high-grade ore for long-term processing through the milling plant, including the ounces into the Kilimapesa Hill mineral resource estimate.

“The identification and extent of this high-grade zone now adds a third leg to the drilling strategy. The strategy also includes the optimisation and expansion of the current milling plant, alongside the development of a 65 000 t/m heap-leach facility, and these will get us to the 24 000 oz/y target,” McCrae has said. 

He explains that, in the past, Caracal processed up to 1 000 t/d to achieve target production of 1 000 oz a month. Now, with the increased grade and reduced throughput of 360 t/d, Caracal’s current monthly production is estimated at 790 oz a month from the milling plant and 160 oz a month from the heap-leach pilot plant.  

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Caracal Gold, email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter





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