Aspiring producer Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) has delivered a significant upgrade to the existing mineral resource estimate at its flagship Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea.
The company today posted a series of increases to the previous estimate released in November, highlighting the large, high quality and robust nature of the historic project.
The new resource sits at 169 million tonnes grading 0.71 grams per tonne gold and 4.1g/t silver for 3.8 million ounces gold and 22.1Moz silver.
It includes an indicated 97.7Mt at 0.79g/t gold and 4.3g/t silver for 2.5Moz gold and 13.4Moz silver.
Underpinning the new figures was a 39% increase in indicated ounces from 1.8 million to 2.5 million, and a 6% increase in global resources from 3.6Moz to 3.8Moz.
Stronger gold prices helped assume a US$1,800 (A$2,450) pit shell, compared to the US$1,700 (A$2,300) pit shell reported in the November resource.
Kingston said the new estimate highlights potential for the company to deliver a step-up in ore reserves following completion of a Misima definitive feasibility study next year.
Today’s update incorporates the results of recent drilling including near-surface material uncovered at the Umuna East deposit and provides an “enhanced platform” from which to advance Misima’s mining studies.
Umuna is open in several directions and at depth, and remains a priority target for further expansion.
Recent drilling and the updated geological model have identified a number of drill targets to be followed up after the completion of the current geotechnical drill program.
Other work has also confirmed two exploration targets at the historic starter pits of Kobel and Maika, between Umuna and the Ewatinona deposit in the Quartz Mountain area.
A number of historic drill intersections lie beneath the pits, which have been subject to little follow up exploration since Placer Dome Inc ceased mining them.
The new resource estimate establishes Misima as one of the premier new mid-tier gold development opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Managing director Andrew Corbett said the substantial upgrade in classification was a “great result” for shareholders.
“An increase in overall ounces establishes a fantastic platform for our ongoing [definitive feasibility study] work,” he said.
“Our refined geological model for Umuna represents a key step forward for Misima and further reinforces the potential for [it] to be a large-scale, long-life, low-cost gold mine.”
Strong production history
Kingston plans to leverage off Misima’s strong production history and construct a 5.5Mt per annum carbon-in-leach treatment facility and modern infrastructure on the footprint of the historic mine.
It will establish a new standalone, long-life gold mining and processing operation underpinned by two major ore sources – a cut-back of the Umuna open pit and an expansion of the existing pit at Ewatinona.
“We have significantly advanced our understanding of the mineralisation at Umuna and Ewatinona, and we are looking forward to building on this knowledge and delivering on the continued growth potential as we advance Misima towards development,” Mr Corbett said.