Gold miner Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) has reported a 45% increase to its Penny’s Find underground resource, as well as boosting its average gold grade up to 7.04 grams per tonne.
The updated underground resource for Penny’s Find in Western Australia now sits at 248,000 tonnes grading 7.04 grams per tonne gold for 56,000 gold ounces, up from the previous estimate which was 170,000t at 5.40g/t gold.
Located under the current open pit operation, the new resource extends 250m below the surface and remains open at depth.
“It is particularly pleasing to see a robust resource in terms of tonnes and grade existing beneath the currently operating open pit,” Empire Resources managing director David Sargeant said.
“As the resource remains open at depth, further deeper drilling will be required from underground, assuming the final feasibility is positive,” he added.
By the end of November, Empire Resources had recovered more than 2,200oz gold from its latest gold processing campaign at Penny’s Find.
More than 21,000t of ore was processed at Golden Mile Milling’s Lakewood Mill which has amended Empire Resources’ processing allocation to include an additional 11,000t each campaign.
Once sold into the market this should generate more than A$3.4 million at the company’s base case A$1,500 gold spot price. If sold at today’s spot price which is sitting at A$1,664, Empire stands to bring in a substantially larger sum, with the feasibility study allocating an extra A$2 million in revenue for every $100/oz over the $1,500/oz base.
The gold recovery rate during this campaign was about 93% by the end of November with 38.1% of gold picked up in the gravity circuit. Empire Resources anticipates the average grade was about 3.6g/t but the final number depends on mint refining data.
Empire Resources possesses a 60% interest in Penny’s Find with Brimstone Resources retaining the other 40% stake.
Shares in Empire Resources rose almost 5% to A$0.022 in mid-morning trade.