Monument Mining Limited reports that it has started the Preliminary Economic Assessment Study (PEA) program at Burnakura Gold Project, situated in Western Australia to further progress planned early stage production.
Following the readiness of the Burnakura early stage production, the Company has extended its economic study program to include further metallurgical studies, processing plant upgrade potential, open pit mine design optimization and underground opportunities. While funding for production is progressing and results from additional study are encouraging, we are happy to see a movement now to conclude the results in the PEA study under NI 43-101 standards.
Cathy Zhai, President and CEO
Monument expects to finish the PEA in April 2018, and this will not affect start-up effort already in place for plant construction at Burnakura, conditional on financing, to place the Burnakura operation into production.
In the PEA study, the open pit mine optimization used in earlier scoping study, comprising several cutbacks of current pits mined by previous owners, will be reworked with present-day cost and recovery assumptions and findings from the newly completed PEA geotechnical study conducted by Peter O'Bryan and Associates. Furthermore, in the life of mine study work, the underground mining potential at NOA 7/8 will be added. Extended mine production areas potentially allow the upgrade of the existing CIL plant, by integrating a 500KTPA mill from the current 260KTPA mill to accomplish much better reliability and higher performance of production. The PEA study also includes additional geological data collection and metallurgical research.
Independent Qualified Person will be SRK Consulting. The study will be self-funded and finished mainly in-house by the Monument Mining technical team in Perth, within the NI 43-101 technical report framework. Extra-contractual and consulting work has already begun. This work includes a metallurgical study (Orway Mineral Consultants Pty Ltd), a 500 KTPA processing plant upgrade scoping study (COMO Engineers), geotechnical studies (Peter O'Bryan and Associates - now complete) and an underground mining study and evaluation for NOA 7/8 (Pit N Portal Group-Underground Mining Contractors - in progress).
Background of Burnakura Early Stage Production
In 2017, Monument Mining decided to put the Burnakura Project into early-stage production to diversify from single-source cash flow generation. Operational readiness work at Burnakura was accomplished, including transporting the additional crushing and screening circuit to the site for assembly and installation. They obtained principal permitting, concluded an internal economic study and an independent technical due diligence carried out SRK Consulting for financing found no significant flaws. The economic assessment reveals that the life of mine during the early stage production could be extended.
The pre-production development, conditional on completion of funding, mostly includes installation of refurbished crushing plant and pre-stripping and will take around four to five months to complete.
Meanwhile, a preliminary review of underground potential at the NOA7_8 deposit was started and continuing currently. This research emphasizes that gold grade is increasing with depth and is plunging to the north, which is projected to be proved by a drilling program.
The Monument Mining’s production decision is not based on a feasibility study of mineral reserves to establish economic and technical viability. Therefore, there is uncertainty around the technical and economic risks related to this project. These risks include but are not limited to the risk that mineral grades and quantities might be lower than anticipated, and construction or ongoing mining and milling operations different than anticipated; economic and production variables may differ significantly, because of the absence of comprehensive economic and technical analysis prepared in accordance with NI 43-101. There is no surety that production will commence as expected or that the production will be able to make positive cash flow as predicted in returning the Monument Mining’s capital investment.
The technical and scientific data in this news release has been studied and approved by Mr. Neil Rauert, BE (Mining). MEng Sc. FAusIMM(CP), a Qualified Person defined in accordance with National Policy 43-101, and Senior Project Manager, Technical Support of the Company.