Friday, 20 July 2012

Batero Gold starts drill progam at La Cumbre deposit in Colombia

Batero Gold (CVE:BAT) announced Friday the start of its 2012 diamond drill program at its La Cumbre deposit, part of the company’s Batero-Quinchia gold project in the department of Risaralda, Colombia.
The drill program is planned to include a minimum 2,000 metres and up to 6,000 metres of diamond drilling, including infill, step-out, metallurgical and geotechnical drilling.
The work plan will begin with a single drill rig and will add in a second rig as required.
La Cumbre is one of the three porphyry deposits at the Batero-Quinchia project, and the company said the drill program is part of the 2012 to 2013 work program designed to advance the deposit toward a production decision.
The program will test for the most efficient and cost effective leach processing circuit initially targeting the near and at surface higher-grade oxidized gold mineralization.
The project has an initial NI 43-101 resource estimate of 3.5 million ounces of indicated gold and 2.6 million ounces of inferred gold. The open pit resource estimate is based on a 0.16 grams per tonne (g/t) cut off, with 70 per cent of the project remaining unexplored.
The drill program will target infill drilling to upgrade the indicated mineral resources at La Cumbre to the NI 43-101 compliant measured mineral resource category, and will evaluate potential extensions of the mineral resources.
Existing drill spacing suggests the likelihood that only limited drilling may be required to upgrade the oxidized mineralization to a measured resource category, said Batero.
Highlights from the La Cumbre deposit include at and near surface oxidized gold mineralization grading greater than 1.0 g/t gold in the central core of the deposit, and lateral and vertical continuity of gold mineralization.
Initial gold recovery results at La Cumbre range from 91 to 94 per cent in oxide material, and that topography and location of gold mineralization support a low strip ratio.
The company also discussed further details of its 2012-2013 work program last week, including comprehensive metallurgical testing, geotechnical studies, environmental studies, social baseline studies and permitting, which will determine the optimum starter pit production scenario.
The miner said that it will do step-out drilling to potentially increase oxidized mineralization at La Cumbre’s starter pit location, and additional metallurgical testing, including column leach tests to determine the optimum process flow sheet and to provide additional recovery estimates.
Batero has full ownership of surface rights over the La Cumbre deposit and as it owns 100 per cent of the project, there are no net smelter royalties or back-in rights.
Earlier in July, the company announced that its board approved a shareholder rights plan agreement to protect the company from hostile takeover bids.
Batero is a Canada-based exploration company focused on the exploration and development of its mineral property interest in Colombia.
Shares traded at 45 cents Friday morning.

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