PanTerra Gold to extend Las Lagunas life, to import concentrates
PanTerra Gold (ASX: PGI)
is progressing plans to extend the life of its Las Lagunas refractory
gold-silver project in the Dominican Republic by importing refractory
concentrate from one or more sources.
It expects this to lead to the exploitation of stand-alone refractory deposits, with an initial focus on mining opportunities identified in North and South America.
The company has formally applied to the Dominican Government to permit the import of refractory concentrate and to utilise the Government’s tailings dam at Las Lagunas to store processed concentrate.
This would permit the existing operations to be extended to 20 years from the current 5 years.
Production at Las Lagunas is also progressively increasing towards targets established by pilot plant test work.
In addition to the design modifications to the Albion oxidation circuit nominated by Xstrata Technology in December 2013, recent reviews of the Las Lagunas operations in the Dominican Republic by internationally-recognised consultants has increased confidence that perseverance with the world-first application of the Albion oxidation process in the extraction of precious metals from refractory ores will be rewarded in the near term.
Large numbers of refractory gold and silver deposits known to exist world-wide are unable to be developed for a variety of reasons including environmental, permitting and infrastructure issues.
Many of these deposits, including several being investigated by the company, are known to be able to produce concentrate with grades of 40 grams per tonne to 50g/t gold or more, and capable of being transported economically in shipping containers to permitted processing locations.
PanTerra will focus on sourcing a clean concentrate derived from mining operations that will, to a large extent, avoid problems encountered with the Las Lagunas tailings, with variability of particle size, density, viscosity, and sulphide feed levels, and which only concentrate to a grade of around 10g/t gold.
An equal blend of 50g/t gold imported concentrate and 10g/t gold Las Lagunas concentrate could lead to a trebling of production and substantially lower processing costs.
The company has extended executive chairman Brian Johnson’s service agreement by three years to 31 December 2016.
He will focus on administration, business development, and resolution of substantial potential claims on design engineers, and suppliers of equipment provided to the Las Lagunas project which was not fit for purpose.
It has also appointed Adrian McDonald as its chief operating officer to manage operations at Las Lagunas.
McDonald has over 20 years’ experience in mineral processing, including eight years proven success in operational management.
Zach Casley will step down as the company’s chief executive officer at the end of this month to pursue other activities.
While PanTerra Gold continues to improve production from its Las Lagunas gold-silver project, its plans to import refractory concentrate from other sources has the potential to not only treble production but also lower costs.
In addition, it can also increase the life of operations about four fold to 20 years. With the experience that PanTerra has in refractory deposits there are significant opportunities given the number of refractory gold and silver deposits known to exist world-wide which have not been developed.
PanTerra has identified some that could produce concentrate with grades of 40g/t to 50g/t gold or more, and capable of being transported economically in shipping containers to permitted processing locations
PanTerra can bring its experience and
expertise in treatment of refractory silver and gold deposits like those
at Las Lagunas to bear by exploiting stand-alone refractory deposits,
some of which are being examined now.
Identification and agreement over one or more of these deposits would be a "valuation step change" driver to further grow the company’s valuation beyond its current market cap. of circa $40.96 million.
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