Classic Minerals (ASX: CLZ) remains on track to begin production by the end of August at its flagship Kat Gap gold project with the completion of the final 28 holes of infill drilling needed for optimisation and final pit design work.
The West Australian-based project has an initial JORC resource of 92,869oz at 2.96 grams per tonne gold.
Assay are results are expected mid-June and the company says it intends to begin additional step-out exploration drilling in the coming months, with mining to kick off two months later.
Kat Gap contains a shallow unmined gold deposit located 170km south of Southern Cross that was discovered in the 1990s and was the subject of a scoping study by the former Sons of Gwalia in 2003.
‘Exceptional shallow high grade gold’
The company describes the gold mineralisation as “impressive with exceptional shallow high grade gold in its drill holes”.
Early results included 2m at 116g/t, while recent reverse circulation drilling has hit 7m at 76g/t, including 1m at 304g/t.
Earlier this month, the company announced it had commissioned its wholly-owned Gekko processing plant at a testing site in the Perth suburb of Gnangara.
The plant has a 30t per hour capacity and is scalable to a Gekko Python-sized plant which can process up to 250tph.
Gravity and conventional cyanide leach has proved between 95% and 96% recovery from both fresh and oxide samples.
‘Milestone’ leading to full production
The drilling program just completed totalled 2,548m conducted over 120m of strike length.
“Together with the recently announced Native Title endorsement over the mining area at Kat Gap, the completion of in-fill drilling is yet another significant milestone leading up to full scale production,” the company said.
Classic describes Kat Gap as an open-ended deposit lying within in 5km-long geochemical gold anomaly that has, until now, seen very little drill testing.
Kat Gap is 50km south of Classic’s Forrestania gold project.
Forrestania contains an existing mineral resource of 5.9Mt at 1.25g/t for a contained 240,000oz.
A scoping study undertaken by Classic indicated both the technical and financial viability of the project.
The Forrestania assets include a high grade open pit mined by Sons of Gwalia – formerly Australia’s third-largest gold producer – in the early 2000s.