Harmony Gold and Newcrest Mining are undertaking a feasibility study to evaluate an underground exploration program at their Wafi-Golpu gold-copper project in Morobe province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Johannesburg office of WorleyParsons TWP has been engaged to prepare the feasibility study for a proposed exploration shaft for consideration and approval by the 50:50 joint venture.

Underground access to the orebody through the exploration shaft would generate essential orebody knowledge required to support a future development decision. Geotechnical drilling to identify a suitable exploration shaft location has commenced.

The joint venture anticipates a final investment decision for the proposed exploration shaft during the second half of 2014, subject to receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

Pretium Resources reported on December 20, an updated, NI 43-101-compliant re-
source estimate for the Valley of the Kings zone of its Brucejack project in northwestern British Columbia. At a 5-g/mt cut-off, measured and indicated resources now total 8.7 million oz in 15.3 million mt grading 17.6 g/mt gold. Inferred resources stand at 4.9 million oz in 5.9 million mt grading 25.6 g/mt.

The Valley of the Kings resource estimate was completed by Snowden Mining Industry consultants. The estimate incorporates data from all drilling completed to date, as well as the drilling and processing results from Pretium’s 2013 Valley of the Kings bulk sample program. The Valley of the Kings zone remains open along strike to the east and west and at depth.

The mineral resource estimate has been informed by extensive work focused on geological interpretation of the Valley of the Kings zone, the Pretium announcement stated. The high-grade mineralization is hosted in a broad deformed stockwork, and a key outcome from the bulk sample program was the underground confirmation of both lateral and vertical continuity of the vein systems comprising this stockwork and the location of high-grade corridors of mineralization.

OZ Minerals has reported an updated resource estimate for its Carrapateena iron oxide copper-gold project located 130 km north of Port Augusta, South Australia. Data from an additional seven holes, including five wedged holes, totaling 11,187 m were included in the modeling, bringing the total number of holes and meters to 100 and 65,690, respectively.

Carrapateena’s indicated and inferred resources at a 0.3% copper cut-off now stand at 800 million mt, grading 0.8% copper and 0.3 g/mt gold for 6.3 million mt of contained copper and 8.4 million oz of contained gold. The estimates represent increases of 5% in metric tons, 7% in contained copper, and 14% in contained gold from the previous estimate for the project

OZ Minerals is currently conducting a pre-feasibility study at Carrapatenna.

OZ Minerals also reported exploration progress at the Khamsin prospect 10 km northwest of Carrapateena. Drilling at Khamsin throughout 2013 returned significant results that display similar characteristics to those in the main body at Carrapateena. Results included an intercept of 701 m grading 0.83% copper and 0.24 g/mt gold from a depth of 747 m, including 63 m grading 2.75% copper and 0.15 g/mt gold from 777 m.

The Khamsin mineralized body has a footprint projected to surface of approximately 900 m by 600 m, and mineralization remains open to the west, south and east. Drilling to extend the boundaries of the known mineralization continues. 

Iamgold has entered into an earn-in option agreement with Solvista Gold that sets out terms whereby Iamgold may earn up to a 70% interest in Solvista’s Caramanta gold project on Colombia’s Middle Cauca gold belt 120 km south of Medellín. Solvista has confirmed the existence of at least three outcropping porphyry systems on the 20,000-ha Caramanta property. 

Iamgold can earn an initial 51% interest in the Caramanta project by investing a total of $18 million ($2.5 million is a non-discretionary commitment) in qualifying expenditures over a maximum five-year period that began on December 16. Iamgold is the project operator. The $18 million total includes $900,000 in cash payments to Solvista.

Iamgold can earn an additional 19% interest in the project, for a total 70% interest, by investing a further $18 million in qualifying expenditures over a maximum three-year period following the completion of the initial 51% earn-in.

Subject to the satisfaction of the aforementioned conditions, and upon completion of either Iamgold’s 51% or 70% earn-in, Solvista and Iamgold will enter into a joint venture to hold and advance the project.