Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) has contracted Lycopodium (ASX: LYL) subsidiary Lycopodium Minerals to carry out process plant design work for a definitive feasibility study relating to the historic Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea.
Lycopodium has global experience in gold mining process plant design and has an established track record of project delivery in the region.
The company has previously completed studies on greenfields and brownfields project in Papua New Guinea for clients including PanAust, Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM), Harmony Gold, Ok Tedi, K92 Mining, St Barbara (ASX: SBM) and Barrick Gold Corporation.
Kingston managing director Andrew Corbett said Lycopodium would bring unique skills to the design of the process plant, which represents a key element in the re-development of the Misima project.
“Our key focus will be to leverage Lycopodium’s global experience to streamline our project schedule, optimise project capital and maximise gold production,” he said.
“Alongside the expertise that Lycopodium will bring, this project continues to benefit from access to extensive historical production data which will simplify our work programs and reduce future uncertainties during the mining studies phase.”
A pre-feasibility study completed in November found Misima to be a robust, large-scale, long-life, low-cost operation capable of delivering average annual production of 130,000 ounces at an “extremely attractive” life-of-mine, all-in sustaining cost of less than $1,200 per ounce.
The study confirmed Misima’s credentials as one of the “best undeveloped projects in the Asia Pacific region”, and highlighted the opportunity for Kingston to unlock further value through a mineral resource update, definitive feasibility study and project approvals program.
The project hosts a current JORC resource of 3.6 million ounces gold and an ore reserve of 1.35Moz.
Definitive feasibility progress
Mr Corbett said the Misima definitive feasibility study was “well advanced” with metallurgical test work complete, geotechnical programs underway and additional engineering study packages awarded.
Mine planning is expected to commence following an update to the Misima mineral resource, expected before year end.
Kingston is also continuing to work on an environmental and social impact assessment for the project as well as work programs associated with the mining lease application.
All activities remain on track for completion in early 2022.
The Misima project was operated as a profitable open pit mine by Placer Pacific between 1989 and 2001, producing over 3.7Moz before it was closed when the gold price fell below $400/oz.
Kingston assumed full ownership of the large-scale re-development in March after acquiring the remaining 19% interest held by former partner Pan Pacific Copper.
“This is a strategically important milestone for Kingston on our pathway to becoming a substantial new gold producer in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Corbett said at the time.