TSX-V-listed Monument Mining on Tuesday reported that preparation was ongoing for a trial mining programme at the Peranggih gold prospect at the Selinsing gold mine, in Malaysia.
The programme is aimed at sustaining the current oxide production before the sulphide production starts.
Monument’s current gold production is from its remaining oxide gold ore inventory, including stockpiled super low-grade oxide ore, old tailing materials, oxide ore from Buffalo reef and transition ore from Pit 5/6 at Selinsing.
At Selinsing the reserves and resources have now been fully replaced, with a six-year life-of-mine, according to the feasibility study National Instrument 43-101 technical report.
Included in the Selinsing sulphide project’s capital expenditure projection is development of the tailings storage facility (TSF), the construction of which is comprised of three separate embankments.
Based on a detailed design by SRK Consulting of the TSF’s expansion, the company has carried out the first phase of the TSF upgrade work at the main embankment, which consists of raising the wall level to provide an additional tailing capacity up to June 2020 to support gold production at the current oxide processing plant.
Further, TSF upgrade work to date has completed construction of the new spring water management system and 80% completion of construction on the TSF main embankment with installation of various seepage channels, excavating the stream diversion, removal of unwanted materials and backfilling.
The entire work is expected to be completed in July 2019.
The next embankment raise will be required once the sulphide project is initiated.
SULPHIDE GOLD PRODUCTION PREPARATIONS
Monument further mentioned that Selinsing’s sulphide gold production was the company’s “top priority”, and that it continued preparation based on the execution plan to start construction, subject to project funding.
Work is proceeding on the technical and financial evaluation of processing equipment proposals. Site meetings were held with potential equipment vendors and proposals were received for extending the scope of supply to include ancillary equipment, Monument said.
Equipment specifications were prepared for the proposed pilot plant, as were requests for quotations for distribution to suitable local equipment vendors and fabricators, while the conversion of the existing Intec pilot plant to use as the bioleach test facility was initiated.
The project team continues to optimise costs, including expected maintenance and reagent consumption to lower operating cost estimates, and sourcing local equipment to lower capital cost estimates, Monument confirmed.
Further bioleach batch amenability tests were conducted by the Selinsing research and development team using locally adapted bacteria. The tests achieved up to 98% oxidation on samples of Buffalo Reef concentrates with up to 97% gold leachability from the resulting bio-oxidation residues.
At the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef deposits, sulphide mineralisation is still open down dip, down plunge and along strike.
Monument intends to follow up with drilling programmes at the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef deposits focused on adding resources and defining preferential sulphide mineralisation at depth below and around the existing pits within gap zones in-between the known resources that contain little drill hole information, through extension drilling for Buffalo Reef, and to investigate underground opportunities with deep drilling at Selinsing Pits and extensions to the south.
A diamond drilling programme was initiated at the Selinsing Pit IV west wall and 14 holes were drilled for a total of 681 m out of a proposed 1 000 m for which assay results are awaited.
Further, a metallurgical reverse circulation drilling programme has been initiated for collecting samples at Pit 5/6 to further test recoverability of transitional ore in parallel with mining production in this area.
The transitional ore mined shows visible gold with higher grade than expected in certain areas, Monument said.
As part of the Selinsing regional exploration programme, Monument confirmed that soil sampling continued and that it remained focused on the prioritised Peranggih/Panau area, initially at the Panau South target, which was completed, with 202 primary samples collected and 24 samples collected at Panau North.
Regional exploration, meanwhile, is targeting larger strategic development areas surrounding Selinsing, aimed to test regional resource potential.
The current target areas have been selected for sampling and assaying, including additional sections at Peranggih and Panau, and soil sampling results could lead to identifying further regional drilling targets.