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Monday, 4 March 2013
Sacre-Coeur Minerals hires consultants for feasibility study at Million Mountain project
Sacre-Coeur Minerals (CVE:SCM) says that it has chosenTetra Tech to lead the company's NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study for its Million Mountain Zone 1 resource in Guyana.
The junior miner has also hired Resource Development and Met-Solve Laboratories to help with metallurgical scoping and trade-off studies, as well as final flow sheet development and process modelling.
Sacre-Coeur has a half million ounce surface mineable gold resource at its Million Mountain Zone 1 property, with another eight targets situated along the 20 kilometre structural trend.
The Zone 1 property hosts an NI 43-101 compliant hard-rock resource of 12.1 million tonnes grading 1.0 g/t gold measured, and 2.18 million tonnes grading 0.9 g/t gold indicated for a total 451,000 troy gold ounces combined. Since completion of the NI 43-101 resource estimate, an additional 40 holes have been drilled into the body, which are expected to add to the total in an updated resource estimate as part of the feasibility study.
Because the results from its internal evaluation of the development of Million Mountain Zone 1 were “very positive”, the company says it skipped a formal third party preliminary economic assessment and jumped straight into commissioning a bankable feasibility study – which it hopes to have finished by mid to late summer this year.
In a bid to expedite the process, scoping and trade-off studies, the feasibility study and report, and final design for construction have been integrated, and will be focused on by the same team.
Following the feasibility study, a final development decision is expected, as well as the completion of development financing and the start of construction. Commissioning of the mine and plant for production is targeted for the third quarter of this year.
The company said the assessment of the deposit will be broken into two phases, the first of which is the subject of current work and will be limited to the portion of the deposit that is saprolitized, or chemically weathered to clay-like consistency.
The heavily weathered rock will not require drilling and blasting, and will need only nominal crushing or grinding for processing, the company notes.
Feasibility analysis of mining the un-weathered portion of the deposit will be a separate undertaking, to be commissioned at a later date - once mining of the saprolite body is well advanced. The Million Mountain Zone 1 hard-rock mine is anticipated to initially produce from the tropically weathered horizon for 5 to 7 years.
“Our projected capital and operating costs are expected to be very low because of these naturally existing factors,” CEO Gregory Sparks told Proactive Investors in an interview last month. “Based on our internal analysis, which was done at $1,500 per troy ounce gold, we expect healthy cash margins from our planned operation.”
The base case scope for the study includes mining and processing at a rate of 100,000 tonnes per month, using conventional open pit methods.
“We have a real shot at development of several near-surface modest size resource bodies, as well as targets for potential major discoveries along the Million Mountain trend,” said Sparks, adding that Sandspring’s Toroparu 5 million ounce gold-copper deposit is its next door neighbour, and Guyana Goldfields is just up-trend.
He also added that starting next year, the company is aiming to generate shareholder value by issuing dividends through its cash flow from operations.
Aside from advancing Million Mountain , Sacre-Coeur is also looking to more than double its gold output at its nearby alluvial/elluvial operations in Guyana, targeted at 6,000 ounces per year by adding another production unit and making process improvements.