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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asanko Gold Inc. (“Asanko” or the “Company”) (TSX, NYSE American: AKG) is pleased to provide an update on the work underway to update the Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate for the Asanko Gold Mine (“AGM”), located in Ghana, West Africa. The AGM is a 50:50 joint venture (“JV”) between Asanko and Gold Fields, which is operated by Asanko.
Following a recent planning session between the AGM JV partners, key decisions were made and agreed between the parties as to the basis for an updated Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate which is expected to be effective as at December 31, 2019 and published in Q1 2020.
Key Scope Items:
“We have now aligned our development philosophy for the Asanko Gold Mine with our focus on near term free cash-flow generation,” said Greg McCunn, Chief Executive Officer. “As a result of the collaboration efforts of the joint Technical Committee of the JV, the joint venture now has a clear road map to complete this study in coordination with the year-end. Going forward, we expect to provide annual updates to the Mineral Resource and Reserve estimates.
The AGM is well positioned to generate positive cash flow following the completion this quarter of the major capital stripping program at Nkran. The updated life of mine plan will give us the basis from which to continue to develop a long life asset through our exploration strategy on the highly prospective 21,000 hectare land package. There are numerous high priority targets within trucking distance of the existing facilities and with exploration drilling underway this quarter, we expect to be profitably mining at the Asanko Gold Mine for a very long time.”
Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate
Localised Uniform Conditioning (LUC) has been adopted for mineral resource modelling at all deposits at the AGM. This methodology has been proven over the last 12 months of operations to provide reliable reconciliation with mining. The type of mineralisation prevalent in the various open pits show a juxtaposition of high grade mineralization in close proximity to low grade mineralization and waste material. The adopted estimation methodology was selected to limit risk of overestimation of tonnes, and underestimation of grade that can happen when drill spacing is still quite broad and linear estimation methodologies such as Ordinary Kriging are used.
All deposit models have been updated with geological domain boundaries and key mineralisation controlling structures which have been derived from production grade control models developed over the past 18 months of operation. Geological modelling based on recent mining activity at the Esaase pit is still being finalized and is expected to be completed in Q4 2019.
The updated model for Esaase includes a detailed re-investigation of the controls to mineralization within the Esaase deposit which involved:
In addition to the modelling updates, mineral resource classification definitions have been adopted which are more rigorous than previous classification definitions, and are now consistent with those used by Gold Fields across other operations. It is expected that some of the Mineral Resources at Esaase categorized in 2017 as Measured and Indicated will be reclassified as Inferred Mineral Resources and will require further infill drilling in order to be classified as Indicated Resources.
Datamine Mine Stope Optimizing (MSO) software which has been demonstrated in operations to provide reliable estimates will be used to generate the Mineral Reserve estimates based on the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources. Adoption of trucking transport solution will also increase the cut-off grade utilised in the estimation of Mineral Reserves.
As part of the approval of commencement of mining activities at the Esaase deposit in early 2019, the JV initiated a metallurgical test-work program to improve the confidence in metallurgical recovery estimates for the fresh ore at Esaase. Current mining operations are mining oxide ores from the Esaase deposit, which represent approximately 30% of the resource. Oxide ore recovery is well understood and approximately 30% of the ore feed for the current operations is being sourced from Esaase oxides with metallurgical plant recovery of gold of over 93%.