Golden Star Resources reports that ongoing exploration activity at its Wassa gold mine in southwest Ghana is producing encouraging results, both from step-out and infill drilling.
Step-out drilling has confirmed that the Wassa orebody is open down plunge. Significant widths and grades intercepted up to 250 m south of previously known mineralization include 18.5 m grading 6.8 g/mt gold and 20.3 m grading 3.5 g/mt gold.
Infill drilling shows wide zones of significant grades between existing high-grade drill intercepts, including 19.9 m grading 15.3 g/mt gold and 58.6 m grading 4 g/mt gold.
Golden Star president and CEO Sam Coetzer said, “Both the step-out and infill drill results continue to indicate that significant additional resources exist to the south of the current Wassa Main pit, where a high-grade underground mine could be developed. Our current resource of 2.6 million oz is over a strike length of 1,050 m.
“A conceptual study, completed in 2013, found underground mining of this high-grade deposit to be economically viable, and these drill results further support these findings. We expect to complete this phase of drilling by mid-2014, and the results of the drilling program combined with the planned preliminary economic assessment will allow us to make a decision on a full feasibility study.”
The current drilling program at Wassa is focused on two goals: approximately 20,000 m of infill drilling of the current resource to further define grades and continuity and step-out drilling on 200-m drill fences to the south to determine the extension of the high-grade mineralization below the current Wassa Main pit design. (www.gsr.com)
Coeur Mining has reported year-end contained ounces of proven and probable mineral reserves totaling approximately 255.4 million oz of silver and 2.2 million oz of gold, representing increases of 15.9% and 12.3%, respectively, compared to year-end 2012. The gains are net of the 17 million oz of silver and 262,217 oz of gold produced during 2013.
In addition to these reserves, Coeur announced measured and indicated mineral resources of approximately 386.3 million oz of silver and 2.5 million oz of gold, up 26.6% and 1.4%, respectively, from year-end 2012.
Coeur president and CEO Mitchell J. Krebs said, “For the past several years, our main focus has been to get all four of our mines up and running consistently. 2012 was the first year we devoted significant capital to exploration, and we are starting to see the fruits of these efforts. We have spent $74 million in exploration expenditures over the past two years and will continue to fund exploration activities using a success-based approach focused on resource conversion.
“In 2014, we plan to invest $23 million to $28 million for exploration, including approximately $10 million in capitalized drilling, but may increase this budget if we receive positive drill results that warrant further exploration activity. We are continuing a targeted focus on resource conversion at Palmarejo in Mexico, which we believe holds considerable opportunity for new sources of production,” Krebs said.
Hecla Mining had another year of exploration success in 2013, achieving record year-end levels of silver and gold reserves and gold resources at its properties despite using reduced metals prices of $20/oz silver and $1,300/oz gold. The gains in gold and silver reserves are net of the 8.9 million oz of silver and 120,000 oz of gold produced in 2013.
Hecla’s year-end proven and probable silver reserves reached the highest level in company history, up 13% over December 31, 2012, to 170 million oz. In addition, measured and indicated resources increased by 18% over December 31, 2012, to 149 million oz of silver, while inferred resources decreased by 17% to 143 million oz of silver.
Proven and probable gold reserves increased by 190% to 2.1 million oz, also a record level for the company, primarily due to the acquisition of Aurizon Mines completed on June 1, 2013. Measured and indicated resources increased 3,610% to 4.7 million oz of gold, and inferred resources increased 148% to 1.8 million oz of gold.
Hecla’s definition and exploration drilling programs were very successful in upgrading resources to reserves and in identifying new resources outside of established mine plans to replace those upgraded ounces.
The company’s exploration and pre-development expenditures in 2014 are projected to be a combined $18 million, a reduction of 51% from 2013 levels. (www.hecla-mining.com)