Increased resource confidence; exploration upside potential; processing optimisation identified
PERTH, AUSTRALIA / ACCESSWIRE / November 29, 2022 / Centamin (LSE:CEY)(TSX:CEE) is pleased to provide an update on the pre-feasibility study ("PFS") at its Doropo project located in north-eastern Cote d'Ivoire, including an upgrade to Mineral Resources; details of potential operating and capital cost-saving opportunities within the processing flowsheet; and identified resource growth potential within the license area.
MARTIN HORGAN, CEO, COMMENTED: "The Doropo PFS workstreams are advancing well and delivering positive results. Following the completion of an extensive infill drilling programme through 2021 and 2022, we have now delivered the first mineral resource estimate constrained in pit shells, with 2.5Moz in the Indicated category eligible to be assessed for inclusion in the maiden reserves estimate. The Indicated Resource grade of 1.52g/t Au should support improved project economics given it exceeds the 1.25g/t Au average feed grade assumed in the 2021 PEA. In addition, the exploration team has successfully identified a number of targets for follow-up drilling that show potential to deliver further resource growth.
Furthermore as part of the PFS metallurgical test work programme, we have identified an opportunity to remove the flotation and regrind circuit that was outlined in the PEA, in favour of a whole of ore leach flowsheet. Given the potential to deliver significant capital and operating cost savings, we are undertaking further comparative test work ahead of publishing the outcome of the PFS which is now expected in H1 2023."
Infill drilling adds 2.4Moz of Indicated Resources for a total of 2.52Moz at a grade of 1.52 grams per tonne of gold ("g/t Au"), constrained within US$2,000/oz pit shells.
Indicated Resources represent a 22% increase in grade versus the 2021 preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") average grade of 1.25g/t Au.
Resource growth identified, extensions and regional exploration targets have been identified using both new data and reinterpreting old data.
The potential for significant capital and operating cost savings are under investigation as part of the pre-feasibility study after encouraging initial metallurgical test work results indicate the opportunity to simplify the processing circuit.
·PFS completion is expected in H1 2023, to enable the inclusion of the results of the mineral processing and metallurgical test work upside opportunity.
DOROPO MINERAL RESOURCE STATEMENT
Constrained mineral resource demonstrates the potential scale of eventual economic extraction
Over the last 18 months a 124,000 metre reverse circulation ("RC") and core infill drilling programme was completed. PFS infill drilling was undertaken on a 25 metre x 50 metre spacing versus previously wider-spaced drilling of 50 metre x 50 metre. Samples were prepared on-site and sent to independent laboratories in Cote d'Ivoire and Ireland, with industry standard quality assurance and quality control ("QAQC") applied.
Gold Content (Moz)
Gold Content (Moz)
The Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") data presented in the tables included in this document comprises a summary extract of the Mineral Resource report for the Doropo project. For comparative purposes, data for 2021 has been included where possible. Note that the 2021 MRE is minimally constrained* and the 2022 MRE has been constrained using optimised pit shells.
The significant figures used in the table are intended to reflect the level of accuracy of the different resource classifications reported.
A material feature for 2022 is constraining within optimised pit shells using an unchanged metal price assumption of US$2,000/oz for Mineral Resource reporting. This explains the reduction in tonnage from 2021 to 2022.
The amount of Indicated Mineral Resource has increased by 2.4Moz due to the PFS infill drilling programme.
This is a more rigorous approach involving the application of the Reasonable Prospects for Eventual Economic Extraction ("RPEEE") criterion reflected in most current reporting codes.
Extensional and regional exploration targets identified
Over the last 18 months, in addition to the PFS infill drilling programme, the exploration team have focussed on surface mapping, geochemistry, portable x-ray fluorescence analysers ("pXRF") multi-element analysis and reviews of the artisanal mining sites. Furthermore, historic data has been reinterpreted and reanalysed including the auger, RC, air-core and core drilling data, airborne geophysical data, and inductively coupled plasma ("ICP") multi-element data.
As a result, three main areas with multiple targets have been identified:
Main Cluster: Ten potential resource extensional targets and five new targets.
Vako Shear Zone: (approximately 14km west of the Main Cluster) seven exploration targets.
Kilosegue deposit: Four potential resource extension targets.
A 20,000 metre RC drilling programme commenced in Q4 2022 to drill test these targets.
Potential processing flowsheet update offers capital and cost saving opportunities
The 2021 PEA indicated a processing flowsheet which included a full flotation and regrind circuit. The results of the more detailed mineral processing and metallurgical recovery studies, including a more extensive metallurgical drilling programme, have indicated the potential to simplify the processing circuit.
The PFS mineral processing and metallurgical recovery studies included a dedicated 6,230 metre metallurgical drilling programme. The initial whole ore metallurgical test work was performed as a baseline for the detailed metallurgical test work programme. Gold extraction for the fresh samples averaged around 85% at an average head assay grade of only 0.6 g/t Au. With the oxide and transitional samples both averaging above 90% for assay head grades of 0.8 and 1.0 g/t Au respectively.
These encouraging initial results indicate the opportunity to remove the pyrite flotation, ultrafine grind circuit and subsequent flotation concentrate leaching circuits. This would have significant positive implications for both the capital and operating costs as the process flowsheet would become a more conventional whole of ore leach circuit configuration.
Centamin is now in the process of performing comparative testing of flotation and fine grinding configurations versus whole of ore leaching to confirm the potential to remove the PEA flotation circuit flowsheet design.
Given the material impact this could have on the overall economics of the project we have taken the decision to delay the results of the PFS into H1 2023 when we expect the comparative study to be completed.
Work programmes in their final stages
Environmental & Social
PFS-level environmental and social baseline studies are substantially complete, and the environmental and social scoping report is well advanced including draft terms of reference for an environmental and social impact assessment ("ESIA").
Work to date has confirmed broad stakeholder support for the project, potential development of the Project would need to be done with due sensitivity to existing socio-economic and bio-physical values, to date no major obstacles to permitting and approval have been identified.
Hydrology and hydrogeology is well advanced.
Kinetic Humidity Cell Testing ("HCT") testing identifying no significant issues.
Site water balance modelling ongoing.
Infrastructure geotechnical analysis and reporting complete, with preferred site layout.
TSF option analysis complete.
The mine design and schedule optimisation are underway using the new resource model.
Mining contractor tender evaluation is well advanced.
MINERAL RESOURCE NOTES
All available data was used as at 25th October 2022.
The gold grade estimation method is Localised Uniform Conditioning.
The rounding of tonnage and grade figures has resulted in some columns showing relatively minor discrepancies in sum totals.
All Mineral Resource Estimates have been determined and reported in accordance with NI 43-101 and the classification adopted by the CIM.
A cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t gold is used for reporting as it is believed that the majority of the reported resources can be mined at that grade.
The 2021 MRE was limited to blocks with a maximum depth of 250 metres below surface and within 80 metres of drill hole data.
Pit optimisations based on a US$2,000/oz gold price were used to constrain the 2022 Mineral Resource and were generated by Orelogy Mine Consultants, who are working on the PFS.
This Updated Mineral Resource Estimate was prepared by Mr. Mike Millad of Cube Consulting Pty Ltd who is the Qualified Person for the estimate.
This Updated Mineral Resources Estimate is not expected to be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues.
A "Qualified Person" is as defined by the National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators. The named Qualified Person(s) have verified the data disclosed, including sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the information or opinions contained in this announcement in accordance with standards appropriate to their qualifications. Each Qualified Person consents to the inclusion of the information in this document in the form and context in which it appears.
Information of a scientific or technical nature in this document, including but not limited to the Mineral Resource estimates, was prepared by and under the supervision of the Group Qualified Persons, Howard Bills, Group Exploration Manager, Craig Barker, Group Mineral Resource Manager, and Mike Millad, the independent Qualified Person from Cube Consulting Pty Ltd. All are geoscientists who fulfil the requirements of being a "Qualified Person(s)" under the CIM Definition Standards.
Investors should be aware that the figures stated are estimates and no assurances can be given that the stated quantities of metal will be produced.
Mineral Resource Estimates contained in this document are based on available data as at 25th October 2022.
Centamin is an established gold producer, with premium listings on the London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange. The Company's flagship asset is the Sukari Gold Mine ("Sukari"), Egypt's largest and first modern gold mine, as well as one of the world's largest producing mines. Since production began in 2009 Sukari has produced over 5 million ounces of gold, and today has a projected mine life of 12 years.
Through its large portfolio of exploration assets in Egypt and West Africa, Centamin is advancing an active pipeline of future growth prospects, including the Doropo project in Côte d'Ivoire, and over 3,000km2 of highly prospective exploration ground in Egypt's Arabian Nubian Shield.
Centamin practices responsible mining activities, recognising its responsibility to deliver operational and financial performance and create lasting mutual benefit for all stakeholders through good corporate citizenship.
FOR MORE INFORMATION please visit the website www.centamin.com or contact:
Alexandra Barter-Carse, Corporate Communications
+44 (0) 7700 713 738
Bobby Morse/ Oonagh Reidy/ George Cleary
+ 44 (0) 20 7466 5000
This announcement (including information incorporated by reference) contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking statements"), including statements with respect to future financial or operating performance. Such statements include "future-oriented financial information" or "financial outlook" with respect to prospective financial performance, financial position, EBITDA, cash flows and other financial metrics that are based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes", "expects", "expected", "budgeted", "forecasts" and "anticipates"." and include production outlook, operating schedules, production profiles, expansion and expansion plans, efficiency gains, production and cost guidance, capital expenditure outlook, exploration spend and other mine plans. Although Centamin believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, Centamin can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are prospective in nature and are not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations and projections of the management of Centamin about future events and are therefore subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In addition, there are a number of factors that could cause actual results, performance, achievements or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements; the risks and uncertainties associated with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 or other pandemic, general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; the results of exploration activities and feasibility studies; assumptions in economic evaluations which prove to be inaccurate; currency fluctuations; changes in project parameters; future prices of gold and other metals; possible variations of ore grade or recovery rates; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; climatic conditions; political instability; decisions and regulatory changes enacted by governmental authorities; delays in obtaining approvals or financing or completing development or construction activities; and discovery of archaeological ruins. Financial outlook and future-ordinated financial information contained in this news release is based on assumptions about future events, including economic conditions and proposed courses of action, based on management's assessment of the relevant information currently available. Readers are cautioned that any such financial outlook or future-ordinated financial information contained or referenced herein may not be appropriate and should not be used for purposes other than those for which it is disclosed herein. The Company and its management believe that the prospective financial information has been prepared on a reasonable basis, reflecting management's best estimates and judgments at the date hereof, and represent, to the best of management's knowledge and opinion, the Company's expected course of action. However, because this information is highly subjective, it should not be relied on as necessarily indicative of future results. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information or statements, particularly in light of the current economic climate and the significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this announcement and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Company No: 109180
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SOURCE: Centamin PLC
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