Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN)(NYSE:IVN)(NASDAQ:IVN) and Chairman of Altynalmas Gold, and David Woodall, President and CEO of Altynalmas Gold, today announced a 50% increase in Indicated Mineral Resources as part of an update of the NI 43-101 Mineral Resources for the Bakyrchik Deposit, which is part of the company's Kyzyl Gold Project in northeastern Kazakhstan. Ivanhoe Mines owns 50% of Altynalmas Gold.
Based on drilling results available to December 1, 2010, internationally recognized minerals industry consulting firm Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (RPA) now estimates that the deposit contains 22.16 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources grading 8.72 grams/tonne (g/t) gold, containing 6.2 million ounces of gold, and an additional 9.67 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources grading 7.43 g/t gold, containing 2.3 million ounces. The reported Mineral Resources include Mineral Reserves previously disclosed on June 30, 2010.
Altynalmas is continuing its drilling program designed to expand and upgrade the NI 43-101-compliant resources and reserves at the Kyzyl Project. A total of 78,020 metres were drilled during 2010 and an updated Mineral Resource estimate based on all 2010 drilling is expected in March 2011. An additional 25,000 metres are planned to be completed during 2011 on the recently enlarged Bakyrchik Mining Lease and a further 50,000 metres are planned to begin the delineation of the satellite deposits on the surrounding exploration licence.
Recently assayed significant drill intercepts of high-grade gold mineralization, which approximate true widths, included:
- 11 metres at 15.43 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 11 metres at 12.06 g/t gold in Lens 12; and,
- 18 metres at 6.15 g/t gold and 11 metres at 8.17 g/t gold in Lens 9.
Kyzyl Gold Project feasibility study proceeding on schedule
The Kyzyl Gold Project contains the Bakyrchik and Bolshevik gold deposits, as well as a number of satellite deposits.
A pre-feasibility study for the Kyzyl Project was completed in August 2010. The Bakyrchik Deposit's definitive feasibility study, which began in September 2010, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2011.
"The increase in the Bakyrchik Mineral Resource base, particularly the 50% increase in Indicated Mineral Resources, bodes well for the estimation of Reserves in the upcoming feasibility study," Mr. Woodall said.
"The expected improvement in the economics of the Kyzyl Gold Project, combined with the continuation of the very encouraging drilling results, should provide the basis for the commencement of construction in 2011 of a 1.5-million-tonne per year fluidized-bed roasting plant to process the project's refractory ores."
The gold deposits at the Kyzyl Gold Project consist of a series of mineralized lenses, or lodes, lying within a large shear zone. Gold mineralization is hosted within sheared carbonaceous sediments of the fault zones and principally is contained within sulphide mineralization occurring in association with quartz stockworks, which crosscut and parallel the foliation of the sediments.
Update on estimation of Bakyrchik Deposit's Mineral Resources
The Mineral Resources at the Bakyrchik Deposit are hosted in seven mineralized lenses located along the Kyzyl shear zone. Collectively, the lenses measure 2,400 metres along strike by 1,700 metres down dip, extending from surface to a depth of 1,000 metres.
The Bakyrchik digital drill-hole database includes 2,372 historic holes totalling 658,954 metres of core plus 156 recent holes drilled by Altynalmas, totalling 62,591 metres of core. Both data sets were verified and validated by RPA and are acceptable to estimate Mineral Resources.
A set of cross-sections and plan views were interpreted to construct three-dimensional wireframe models of the mineralized lenses using the descriptive logs, a minimum grade of 3.0 g/t gold and a minimum thickness of 1.5 metres. More than 73% of the intersections have a true thickness of four metres or greater. Prior to compositing to two-metre lengths, high grades were cut to 35 g/t gold. Gold grade was estimated using ordinary kriging. Block size is five metres by five metres by five metres. Bulk density is 2.7 t/m3. Classification into the Indicated and Inferred categories was completed manually for each lens based on drill-hole spacing, gold grade continuity and geometric continuity.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control – Altynalmas Drilling
Exploration core was drilled HQ size (63.5-mm-diameter core) using western drill strings. Triple tube HQ3 (61.1-mm-diameter core) was used within, and on the shoulders, of the mineralized zone. Assaying of most samples was completed at ALS Minerals, an independent ISO-credited laboratory in Vancouver, Canada, using fire assay fusion, followed by a gravimetric analysis procedure. A total of 205 samples located within the lens wireframe models were assayed at the mine laboratory using a fire assay method. These samples are from the more recent drilling and represent less than 2% of the total number of assays within mineralized wireframe models.
Quality assurance and quality control is independently monitored and audited by RPA with a quality-control program, which includes the use of matrix matched assay standard reference samples, blanks, duplicates, repeats and internal ALS Minerals quality-assurance procedures.
Qualified Person – Resource
The Mineral Resources for the Bakyrchik Deposit disclosed in this news release have been estimated by David Ross, P.Geo., an employee of RPA and independent of Ivanhoe Mines. Mr. Ross is a "Qualified Person" for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101. The Mineral Resources have been classified in accordance with CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, (December 2005). Mr. Ross has read and approved the contents of this news release as it pertains to the disclosed mineral resource estimate.
New Altynalmas drilling results continue to correlate well with Soviet-era results
Intersection widths in recent drilling on lenses 12 and 9 correlate well with the results of the earlier, Soviet-era drilling results. Drilling also produced some significantly higher grades, particularly in Lens 12. Recent drilling in the main Lens 1 area was focused on the periphery of the lens; as such, the widths and grades are lower than those previously released.
Qualified Person – Disclosure
Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this release have been reviewed by David Woodall, Chief Executive Officer of Altynalmas Gold Ltd. and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Source: Ivanhoe Mines