Heap Leach Gold Production
Sunridge has conducted extensive metallurgical test work on the gold material from the gold oxide caps of the Emba Derho and Debarwa deposits and the Gupo Gold deposit since completion of the PFS. Test work, including column tests of gold ores to simulate heap-leach gold processing, has been completed on each deposit to support heap leach production with leach results utilizing ¼ inch and ½ inch material demonstrating 51% to 71% gold recovery. The heap-leaching process will provide Sunridge the opportunity to generate revenue from the precious metals earlier in the mine life thereby benefitting the project economics. This is an improvement to the gold processing plan in the PFS which outlined a Carbon in Pulp (CIP) facility which would have stockpiled the material from the gold caps and processed it at the end of the mine life.
The Study is being conducted by Senet (Pty) Ltd. (“Senet”), based in Johannesburg, South Africa, an internationally respected leader in the design, engineering and construction of mining projects in Africa. Senet has extensive experience working in Eritrea on the Bisha Mine Project for Nevsun Resources Ltd. Senet’s expertise in process plant design and infrastructure is supported by Snowden, based in Vancouver, Canada on mine planning and design. Their experience is complemented by Knight Piesold Ltd. (“KP”) for tailings facility design and waste management and Blue Coast Metallurgy Ltd (“Blue Coast”) for metallurgical design and supervision. The Study is focused on Sunridge’s large Emba Derho copper-zinc-gold-silver volcanogenic-massive-sulphide (VMS) deposit, the nearby high grade zinc-gold-copper Adi Nefas VMS deposit, the Debarwa copper-zinc-gold-silver VMS deposit and the Gupo gold deposit all comprising the Asmara Project.
ENAMCOAs announced on August 20, 2012, the Company has begun negotiations with the Eritrean National Mining Corporation (“ENAMCO”) for ENAMCO’s purchase of a 30% working interest in the Asmara Project. On completion of the purchase, ENAMCO will have a 10% carried interest and a 30% working interest and will therefore be responsible for funding one-third of the costs of all operations conducted on the Asmara Project, which may include a portion of the Study.