Asante Gold’s IP surveys on song in Ghana
IP surveys formed a key part of Asante’s extremely effective exploration program in 2021. The geophysical method was used as a targeting tool in prioritising drill targets along the Bibiani shear corridor.
IP surveys are used extensively in mineral exploration and mining operations. The IP survey is similar to electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). ERT and IP methods are often applied on the ground surface using multiple four-electrode sites. In an IP survey, in addition to resistivity measurement, capacitive properties of the subsurface materials are determined as well. As a result, IP surveys provide additional information about the spatial variation in lithology and grain-surface chemistry.
Last week Dave Anthony, President and CEO of Asante announced a high-grade gold discovery in initial drilling at its South Russel prospect. The discovery is located on the company’s Bibiani mining lease, 3.8 km from Asante’s processing plant.
According to Anthony, the discovery hole returned 16m at 5,75 grams per tonne of gold (AU) and was spotted to test anomalous geophysical responses outlined from the ongoing property wide surveys. “The gold mineralised system is open in all directions with no previous drilling noted in the area,” says Anthony.
“Follow-up drill holes are planned along strike to the north and south of the discovery hole. This target is one of eight high priority geophysical targets that have been outlined to date on the main Bibiani shear corridor and that will be the subject of additional drill testing.”
“The assay results announced today at South Russel, as well as the recent resource extension drilling at Walsh, highlight the effectiveness of the 2021 exploration program, including the use of IP surveys as a targeting tool in prioritising drill targets along the Bibiani shear corridor,” Anthony adds.
Meanwhile, the refurbishment of the Bibiani processing plant is on schedule and on budget. Asante said in a recent statement that there are currently close to 1200 contractors and employees on site.
The plant is being upgraded to provide improved performance, relative to the original design. The upgrade includes the purchase and installation of an up-to-date Knelson 6G concentrator and Gekko ILR (intensive leach reactor), and the construction of a sulfide flotation/regrind facility which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022. The upgrade is expected to increase gold recovery to about 92%.
The Bibiani gold mine plans its first gold pour in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 and to produce approximately 175,000 ounces (oz) of gold in its first 12 months of operation. Thereafter, plans are to produce 220,000 to 270,000 oz every year for a minimum of seven years.
Asante is planning to initiate development of an underground mine design at the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) level of study in Q3 2022, with a view to developing an underground mine operation from 2026. This will provide significant overlap with open pit mining operations, which are currently scheduled to proceed into 2029.
Bibiani is a historically significant gold mine situated in the western region of Ghana, with previous gold production close to five million ounces. It is fully permitted with available mining and processing infrastructure on-site consisting of a three million tonne per annum mill and processing plant, and existing surface and mining infrastructure.
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