Joint venture partners Gold Fields Ltd. (51%) and Cía de Minas Buenaventura (49%) reported discovery of Canahuire, a major gold-copper-silver deposit, in their Chucapaca project area in southern Peru. The deposit hosts an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5.6 million gold equivalent oz, with mineralization potential beyond the extent of current drilling. As of May 1, 2010, the resource totaled about 83.7 million mt, grading 1.9 g/mt gold, 0.09% copper, and 8.2 g/mt silver.
The Canahuire resource is reported at a 0.67 g/mt gold equivalent cut-off grade constrained within an optimized pit shell. The pit shell is based on price assumptions of $1,150/oz gold, $3/lb copper, and $17/oz silver. The estimate is without dilution or ore loss, and has been independently audited by AMEC. AMEC is also conducting an interim scoping study, which is scheduled for completion by June 2010. Subject to a positive economic outcome for the scoping study, a prefeasibility study is expected to begin in July. The geometry of mineralization at Canahuire indicates it is amenable to open-pit mining. The proposed process consists of crushing, grinding, and flotation to produce a smelter-grade copper-gold concentrate, followed by carbon-in-leach extraction from flotation tails.
Both joint-venture partners have independently consolidated a significant portfolio of concessions adjacent to the project area and are advancing exploration on these concessions.