Sunridge Gold Corp. (CVE:SGC) has added more good news to an already auspicious month with the completion of a mineral resource estimate for the Kodadu target on the company's Asmara project in Eritrea, the sixth such mineral resource defined by the Vancouver-based exploration and development company on the property.
The announcement regarding the NI43-101 and JORC compliant estimate comes exactly a week after the mining junior released a feasibility study for the project that succeeded in bringing initial production forward by almost a year.
The freshly-defined resource includes an inferred mineral resource of 990,000 tonnes with an average grade of 1.24 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold and 1.6 g/t of silver, with 39,000 ounces of gold and 51,000 ounces of silver contained metal in the near surface oxide.
As a bonus, the freshly-defined Kodadu resource is less than 25 km from the planned central operating facility, as part of a plan announced a week before Thursday's statement, when the company published the results of a feasibility study on four of the established deposits at the project that concluded the construction of a single centralized processing plant near the Emba Derho deposit would be the optimum economic scenario.
With deposit and initial metallurgical results suggesting gold from the sixth Kodadu resource could be successfully recovered from the mineralized material by standard heap-leaching methods, it is fortuitous that the mooted facility is already set to include a gold heap-leaching facility, meaning mineralized material from the new resource could also be processed.
With the resource estimate based on 36 drill holes, further drilling is planned to be carried out in 2013, as the resource area is open for expansion.
Indeed, drilling has intercepted additional copper-zinc, gold, and silver mineralization below the oxide zone, which is not part of the resource estimate. Future exploration drill programs are to attempt to further define and expand this zone, with a program of expansion drilling, trenching and local mapping and sampling planned for this year.
The fifth prospect, Adi Rassi, is also to be the target of more exploration in the next phase of drilling.
"We have always said that the Asmara Project is very prolific and now we have six deposits so far and probably more to go!" said president and CEO of Sunridge, Michael Hopley, in a statement on Thursday.
"This initial resource at Kodadu, although modest in size at the moment, could well boost our gold production from the planned heap-leach operation in the early years of production at the Asmara Mine.
"This initial mineral resource estimate for Kodadu is just for the near surface gold oxide mineralization based on thirty six drill holes completed by Sunridge and management believes that further drilling will significantly expand and upgrade the mineralization."
The NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study for the property released mid-May, which was based on just four of the deposits, outlined a net present value of US$837 million, at a 10 per cent discount rate pre-tax, or US$443 million after tax. This compares with a pre-tax net present value of $555 million in the prefeasibility study released in May of 2012.
The internal rate of return (NYSE:IRR) for the project was pegged at 34 per cent pre tax, or 27 per cent after tax, with a payback period of 4.6 years post tax.
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