AIM-listed Shanta Gold, which operates the New Luika Gold Mine in Tanzania, has announce high grade intercepts at its Singida project located in northern central Tanzania.
Singida is an advanced stage project with a mining licence in place and is expected to become an important contributor to Shanta’s growth. As previously announced, Shanta is conducting a new exploration programme concurrent with a pilot plant project which will improve the company’s understanding of Singida’s high grade orebody in advance of a full scale development plan. The pilot project is making progress and has been rescheduled to start in Q2 2017 targeting the Gold Tree 1 orebody while the company prioritises expanding the resource through further exploration.
In 2009, a resource estimate at Singida identified 432 000 oz of measured resources at a grade of 4,1 g/t Au, 118 000 oz of indicated resources at 2,0 g/t Au and 309 000 oz of inferred resources at 2,3 g/t Au. The majority of the measured resources relate to a shear structure at the Gold Tree 1 orebody (GT1), one of nine identified orebodies.
During historic definition drilling at GT1, several of the deeper holes intersected mineralisation high in the hanging wall. A very small proportion of the overall indicated and inferred resource was ascribed to these structures, Gold Tree 2 and Gold Tree 3 (GT2 and GT3) but they remained under-explored.
A recent exploration programme, completed in September by Shanta, was carried out to increase the drill density in the hanging wall shears. Thirty-nine holes for 4 204 m were drilled and confirmed mineralisation along 400 m of strike and down to a vertical depth of approximately 100 m.
Drilling highlights include 3 m at 9,94 g/t from 59 m-62 m in SC657; 6 m at 3,81 g/t from 52 m-58 m in SC665; and 12 m at 9,24 g/t from 130 m-142 m in SC679.
The upper, shallow portion of the measured resource at GT1 is now the focus of the pilot plant project. Future work will include water supply hole drilling, then close-spaced grade control holes covering the ‘pit footprint’ of the pilot mining slot, as well as further resource drilling on GT1, GT2 and GT3. Shanta is also planning IP surveys to track a Volcanogenic Semi Massive Sulphide horizon that is believed to be a preferred locality for brittle-ductile deformation and mineralisation.
Toby Bradbury, Shanta’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “With New Luika’s expanding resource generating strong free cash flow, we have refocused on Shanta’s original flagship project at Singida. The recent Singida drill results increase our confidence that, subject to an updated Feasibility Study, Shanta will be able to significantly increase its production of low cost ounces at an extremely competitive capital cost.”