K92 Mining Inc. is pleased to announce that the Government of Papua New Guinea has granted an extension of Mining Lease 150 for the Kainantu Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea for a period of 10 years to June 13, 2034.
Concurrent with this announcement, K92’s Board of Directors have approved the Stage 3 and Stage 4 Expansions (collectively the “Expansions”), increasing the annual processing throughput to 1.2 mtpa and 1.7 mtpa, respectively. This represents a 140% increase and 240% increase, respectively, from the Stage 2A processing capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum. The current Stage 2A Expansion run-rate throughput has already been achieved, with the last major process plant upgrade, the installation of flotation cells to double rougher capacity expected in early 2023.
The Expansions are expected to be transformational for Kainantu, as demonstrated in the Integrated Development Plan (“IDP”) Stage 4 PEA Case, outlining a peak annual production of 500,192 oz AuEq in 2027, a life of mine average all-in sustaining cost of $687/oz (co-product) or $444/oz net of by-product credits. Importantly, the growth capital cost of US$187 million, sustaining capital cost until operating both process plants of approximately US$60 million per annum, and life of mine sustaining capital cost of US$429 million are expected to be self-funded from mine cash flow at US$1,600/oz Au (see press release dated September 12, 2022 - K92 Mining Inc Announces Robust Kainantu Gold Mine Integrated Development Plan). Tendering for long-lead time items for the expansion has already commenced.
John Lewins, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, stated, “The extension of the Mining Lease by the Government of Papua New Guinea and the approval of the Stage 3 and 4 Expansions by the Board of Directors of K92 are major milestones for the Kainantu Gold Mine, Papua New Guinea, our communities, investors and many other stakeholders.
When we acquired the Kainantu Gold Mine in 2015, it was under care and maintenance and had a designed throughput of 150,000 tpa – the Stage 4 Expansion targets throughput of 1.7 million tonnes per annum, a more than 11-fold increase. The throughput increase, as outlined in the IDP Stage 4 PEA Case, transforms Kainantu into a Tier 1 mine, with peak production of 500,192 oz AuEq in 2027, low life of mine average all-in sustaining costs of $687/oz (co-product) or $444/oz net of by-product credits and capital self-funded from mine cash flow. The boost to the economy of Papua New Guinea, in terms of jobs, exports, royalties and income tax will be very significant. We also plan to expand our community programs as we expand the mine so that the benefits to our community continue to grow as the mine grows.
Beyond the mine expansion, as we approach 2023, we are very excited about our exploration programs at Kainantu. We plan to expand the number of drill rigs in 2023 from the 11 currently operating, with a focus on resource expansion of our vein fields and porphyries.”