Orca Gold Inc. is pleased to announce that a 25,000-metre drill programme is underway on the Company's Block 14 Gold Project, located in the Republic of the Sudan.
This drilling is aimed at expanding the current resource below the optimized pits set out in the recently updated Preliminary Economic Assessment (see Company news release on May 30, 2017) and will update the model to be used in the Feasibility Study that is scheduled for completion by the end of Q1 2018.
The updated PEA is based on a mill throughput of 3.4Mtpa, using a gold price of US$1,100/oz for mine design and US$1,200/oz for economic analysis. In-pit mineral resources comprise 41.0Mt grading 1.46 g/t for 1,928 Koz in the Indicated category and 3.4Mt grading 1.56 g/t for 173 Koz in the Inferred category. The project shows strong economics with an after-tax NPV7% of US$227.7 million and an IRR of 23.1%.
The open pit designs that form the basis of the updated PEA were restricted from going deeper due to a lack of geological information. Accordingly, the primary objective of the current drill programme is to expand the resource information in critical areas allowing the pit designs to develop to their full economic potential.
"Facilitated by our recent discovery of a significant water supply, we can now optimize the existing resources of Block 14 to target production in excess of 150,000 ounces per year," commented Hugh Stuart, President & Director of Orca Gold. "Beyond this production optimization, we are excited to launch a new drill programme aimed at unlocking the full potential of our project. We are looking to expand the resource base below current pit designs, establish an initial resource at the Liseiwi satelite prospect, 15km north of the Wadi Doum deposit, and test the high-grade structures recently identified below GSS and Wadi Doum. We anticipate and look forward to releasing the results of our programme throughout the coming months."
Three diamond core rigs are currently on site with a further core rig and one reverse circulation rig due to arrive within the next week. The resource expansion and high-grade targeting programme, scheduled for completion by the end of October, will form the basis of a new resource calculation by year end and will culminate in the delivery of a Feasibility Study for Block 14 by the end of Q1 2018.