A light detection and ranging survey conducted by Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) at the world-class Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea has confirmed the location of a large low-grade stockpile not currently accounted for under the project’s existing resource base.
The near-surface historic stockpile – believed to have been left in place by previous operator Placer Dome when it ceased operations at the open pit mine in 2004 – has been confirmed at an area adjacent to the Tonowak Pit known as the Cooktown Dump.
The area, which was capped in topsoil and rehabilitated during Placer’s mine closure process, is reported to contain 3.6 million tonnes of stockpiled low-grade material averaging up to 0.7 grams per tonne gold.
Kingston’s LiDAR survey provided a detailed model of Cooktown Dump’s surface terrain to assist in identifying historical mining topography and current and historic artisanal mining.
It also identified potential geological features and determining water drainage patterns which will be used to enhance the company’s broader drilling and exploration program.
By calculating the volume of the LiDAR model and cross-referencing it against Placer’s mine information from the early 2000s, Kingston was able to establish an exploration target for Cooktown Dump of 3.6Mt at up to 0.7g/t gold for between 58,000 ounces and 81,000oz.
“While the grade of [this stockpile] is modest, it is important to note it represents loose rock, at surface and close to the likely location of a future processing plant – all of which can reduce mining and processing costs,” said managing director Andrew Corbett.
“The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target is conceptual in nature and we are not sure at this stage if further exploration will result in the estimation of a mineral resource.”
Mr Corbett said the company’s exploration strategy is now focused on discovering and defining near-surface satellite mineralisation at Misima’s other prospects including Ginamwamwa, Quartz Mountain and Ara Creek.
“Adding near-surface resources is likely to enhance the economic potential of any possible future mining operation,” he said.
“The proximity and minimal mining costs of the [Cooktown Dump] stockpile make it an excellent early feed source to any future development plan.”
At mid-afternoon, shares in Kingston were trading 5.26% higher at $0.02.