Kinross Gold reported on September 17 it completed its acquisition of Redback Mining, initially announced on August 2, 2010 (E&MJ, Sept. 2010, p. 6). The transaction was valued at about $7.1 billion.
Earlier in September, Redback announced measured and indicated gold resources at its Tasiast mine in Mauritania had increased to 9.25 million oz, up 42% (2.74 million oz) from the end of 2009. Tasiast’s inferred resource increased by 630,000 oz to 1.93 million oz, a 48% increase, over the same period. Cut-off grades for the resource estimates are 0.2 g/mt for oxides and 0.5 g/mt for fresh material. Kinross expects to release an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for Tasiast by February 2011.
In a presentation at the Denver Gold Forum in September, Kinross President and CEO Tye Burt reported 10 additional drilling rigs were in transit to Tasiast to join 11 rigs already operating on the property. An accelerated drilling program will focus on in-fill and step-out drilling to delineate higher-grade zones at depth, especially in the Greenschist zone discovered by Redback at Tasiast in July 2009.
The Greenschist zone is characterized by consistently thick intervals, averaging approximately 60 to 100 m wide and grading 1.5 to 3 g/mt gold. Drilling has delineated the zone for over a kilometer of strike and to approximately 430 m in depth. Geologic modeling indicates that the zone plunges gently south, consistent with mineralization in other orebodies mined along the 8-km Tasiast deposit.
Kinross also expects to complete a scoping study for a major expansion at Tasiast by December 2010 and a feasibility study by mid-2011. The company’s current development plan envisions construction of a new mill with throughput capacity of 60,000 mt/d—up from 10,000 mt/d currently—and purchase of a new, larger mining fleet tailored to the scale of the expanded operation. The company anticipates the expansion can be completed within three years.