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Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Sunridge Gold shares pop as 2013 plans laid out for Asmara
Sunridge Gold Corp (CVE:SGC (OTCQX:SGCNF) shares surged over 10% Wednesday morning after releasing its outlook for this year on its Asmara project in Eritrea, where the company is focused on completing a feasibility study.
Its stock was lately up more than 12% at 26.5 cents this morning. Sunridge's shares have gained over 23% in the last month.
The mineral explorer's main focus is to also apply for a mining license on the four mineral deposits that make up the project, as well as continue exploration work on its fifth deposit - the Adi Rassi copper-gold deposit - where initial resources were announced last month.
The company is also going to conduct exploration work on additional targets at the property.
The Asmara project now consists of four mineral deposits - the Emba Derho, Debarwa and Adi Nefas copper-zinc-gold and silver deposits and the Gupo gold deposit - all located within 40 kilometres of the capital city of Asmara.
The results of a preliminary feasibility study in May that considered all deposits being processed at a central mill showed production of 365,000 tonnes of copper, 812,000 tonnes of zinc, 415,000 ounces of gold and 11 million ounces of silver over a 15.25 year mine life.
The report also estimated a pre-tax net present value of $555 million at a 10 per cent discount rate and an internal rate of return of 27 per cent, with an initial capital cost pegged at $489 million.
Sunridge is now working on finishing a feasibility study on the Asmara project, on track for April this year, after which the application for a mining license and permitting will follow, along with the social and environmental impact assessment.
Based on new metallurgical testwork, the feasibility study will now include early mining of the direct shipping ore (DSO) from Debarwa, and early heap-leaching of the surface gold material from the project, allowing more revenue to be generated earlier.
As a result, cash flow is expected a year earlier than presented in the prefeasibility study, now anticipated in 2015. Initial capital costs are also anticipated to be lower due to the new operating scenarios.
The company is targeting that full production at 4 million tonnes per year would be reached roughly 2 years after the start of mining activities.
Vancouver-based Sunridge has also said that talks are progressing with the Eritrean National Mining Corp (ENAMCO) for the African company to buy a 30 per cent participating interest in the gold explorer's Asmara project.
So far, the framework of the discussions has provided for the fact that the 30 per cent interest will be in addition to ENAMCO's existing right to receive a 10 per cent "non-assessable" stake that will be carried to production by the participating partners. The 10 per cent interest will be carried two-thirds by Sunridge, and one third by ENAMCO.
The Canadian junior gold company said that negotiations are progressing within the framework of the mining code of the country, with the price and terms for the participating 30 per cent stake still being worked out.
Once the negotiations are wrapped up, ENAMCO will contribute one third of all development costs at the project, as well as any other ongoing expenses, including exploration.
Last month, Sunridge announced an initial NI 43-101 resource estimate for its Adi Rassi copper-gold deposit, and reported an inferred mineral resource of 15.77 million tonnes, with an average grade of 0.54% copper and 0.33 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
This translates to contained metal of 189.06 million pounds of copper, and 167,000 ounces of gold, with the resource area remaining open for expansion in most directions.
Mineralization at Adi Rassi is distinctly different to Sunridge's four other deposits and is considered to be remobilized copper and gold from a distal source, the company said. The zone remains open at depth to the north and possibly to the south, with additional exploration potential along the 3 km length of the hosting shear zone.
Expansion drilling, trenching and local mapping and sampling is planned for this year at Adi Rassi, while the company is also planning to start a reverse circulation drilling program this month at its Kodadu project. The goal of this work is to quickly define a resource that could potentially be mined as feed to a gold plant at Emba Derho.
Kodadu is lcoated around 25km south of the Emba Derho deposit at the Asmara project.