- The Study will include early mining of the copper-gold direct shipping ore (“DSO”) from Debarwa and early heap-leaching of the surface gold material from the project;
- Cash-flow is expected a year earlier (2015) than presented in the PFS;
- Initial capital costs are expected to be reduced and overall economics enhanced in the Study compared to the PFS;
- Full production at 4 million tonnes per year would be reached approximately 2 years after commencement of mining activities. Production rates will be similar to those outlined in the PFS with an annual average of 70 million pounds (31,750 tonnes) of copper, 140 million pounds (63,500 tonnes) of zinc, 31,000 ounces of gold and 997,000 ounces of silver to be produced over the first eight years of the mine life.
Following the completion of the Study, Sunridge will complete a social and environmental impact assessment (“SEIA”) report in the second quarter of 2013 and will then apply for a mining license.Negotiations with Eritrean National Mining Corporation (“ENAMCO”) On July 4, 2012, ENAMCO exercised its option to purchase an additional 30% of the Asmara Project from the Company. These negotiations continue and the Company issued an update news release on December 17, 2012 which stated that talks have been progressing between Sunridge and ENAMCO within the framework of the mining code of the country as summarized as follows:
- The 30% participating interest in the Asmara Project to be purchased by ENAMCO is in addition to ENAMCO's existing right to receive a 10% non-assessable interest that will be carried to production by the participating partners.
- ENAMCO's 10% non-assessable interest will carried two-thirds by Sunridge and one-third by ENAMCO.
- The price and terms of the purchase of the participating interest by ENAMCO are currently being negotiated.
- Once negotiations are concluded, ENAMCO will contribute one-third of all development costs as they are incurred, as well as any other ongoing expenditure on the project, including exploration.
Kodadu VMS Exploration ProjectSunridge is planning to start a reverse-circulation drilling program this month to better define the oxide gold cap within the gossans defined at the Kodadu VMS mineral occurrence. The goal of this work is to rapidly define a resource that could potentially be mined as feed to a gold plant at Emba Derho. The Kodadu VMS target is located approximately 25 kilometres south of the Emba Derho deposit. Several gossans trend north-northeast for over a 1.2 kilometre strike length with an average width of 10 metres and about 35 metres deep. A recent (2009) Sunridge trenching program in which 87 samples were taken, returned 28 gold values of over 0.2 g/t and the best values were 10.67g/t over 14.7m, 2.3g/t over 8m and 1.79 g/t over 13.3m. Also to be drill tested is gold mineralization that has been identified in a one kilometre shear zone running parallel and about 100 metres west of the Kodadu gossans. Geological mapping has shown the zone to be approximately 30 metres wide and historic gold values from trenches sampled by a previous operator are reported as 3.85g/t over 50 metres; 2.05g/t over 50 metres; and 11.87g/t over 8 metres. Additional Exploration Work The Company continues to systematically explore the Asmara Project for new VMS and gold targets. Qualified Person Mr. Michael J. Hopley is the Qualified Person who approved the technical information contained in this news release. Corporate The Company will be attending the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa and the PDAC in Toronto within the first quarter of 2013. Other Eritrea Mining Events
- Nevsun Resources has now successfully operated the Bisha Mine in Eritrea for almost 2 years and has demonstrated high returns. The mine plans to begin shipping copper concentrate through the port of Massawa in 2013.
- Chalice Gold Mines has completed the sale of the Zara gold project in Eritrea to the Shanghai Construction Group Co. Ltd.
Michael Hopley, President and Chief Executive OfficerNeither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the Company’s current expectations and estimates. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “plan,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “suggest,” “indicate” and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results implied or expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others: the actual results of current exploration activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; accidents, labor disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in negotiating a shareholders’ agreement with ENAMCO and obtaining governmental approvals or financing; and fluctuations in metal prices. There may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.