Orca Gold Inc. is pleased to report the successful expansion of the Area 5 aquifer at its Block 14 Gold Project in the Republic of the Sudan.
The Area 5 aquifer, located 85km from the main Galat Sufar South deposit ("GSS"), was initially discovered in May 2017 through a specialized airborne geophysical survey, which identified an aquifer target size of 562km2. A water resource area covering 100km2 was proven with twelve boreholes, which supported the 3.4Mtpa throughput scenario outlined in the Company's Revised Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "Revised PEA") (see Company news release on May 30, 2017).
Recognizing the potential and quality of this fresh water aquifer, Orca has recently completed a second programme of six boreholes, expanding the resource area to 135km2 and increasing the estimated volume capacity of the aquifer to 100 million cubic meters. This important development removed water availability as a constraint on the throughput enabling the Company's Board of Directors to approve the design of a processing facility at GSS of 6.0Mtpa. The completion of the Feasibility Study incorporating this design scope is expected in early Q2 2018.
Drilling is ongoing at GSS to continue converting Inferred to Indicated Resources, and to extend the overall resource below the pit shells that formed the basis of the Revised PEA. Results from the first eight holes of a 25,000-metre drill programme were recently released (see Company news release on October 17, 2017) showing a strong potential for increased resources both within and outside the existing pit shells, which supports the decision to design a 6.0Mtpa process plant at GSS.
"With the expansion at Area 5, GSS can now be developed to its full design potential. The decision by our Board to proceed with a 6.0 Mtpa operation is a game changer for the project, almost doubling the production throughput from the Revised PEA," Richard Clark, Director and CEO, commented. "This is expected to increase annual gold production in excess of 200,000 ounces, making GSS and Block 14 one of the most exciting pre-development stories in Africa today. With the early success of our most recent resource expansion programme we anticipate that our Feasibility Study will highlight a mine with an impressive annual production and financial profile and a significant mine life."