Lydian International Ltd. ("Lydian" or "the Company"), a gold-focused mineral exploration and development company, today announced that it is further considering mine layout alternatives at its Amulsar gold deposit in Armenia.
Recent drilling has identified new gold mineralization and extensions to known gold mineralization which together have provided a greater insight into the underlying resource potential and thus the probable extent and overall capacity of the Amulsar gold deposit. These gold mineralized extensions may impact on the mine plan and layout as described in the Company's Feasibility Study (see press release 7 September 2012). Amulsar is a feasibility level high-sulfidation style, heap-leach gold project with reported CIM compliant Proven and Probable reserves of 2.29M Oz Gold at 0.8 g/t and 9.98M Oz Silver at 3.3 g/t and a resource of 0.2M Oz Gold at 1.0 g/t in Measured and Indicated category and 1.1M Oz Gold at 0.9 g/t in Inferred category.
The current Amulsar mine plan and layout was developed to accommodate the known extent and estimated extensions of gold mineralization at the project and in-part to satisfy a production target of March 2015 which was imposed under a Mining License granted to the Company in 2009. As previously announced, a new Mining License was granted to the Company on September 26 2012. This Mining License supersedes the 2009 license, allows a further four year construction period and thus provides scope to better scale and further optimize the mining operation.
Drill results this year (see press releases August 21, September 24, October 23 and November 20) imply new resource potential both laterally and below the currently proposed pit-shells. Drill results from the Erato area and to the northeast of Tigranes in particular highlight potential up to 600m to the east of the pit-shells and in the currently proposed locations of the crushing and conveying facilities. Potential for further resources will also impact on the stacking capacities of proposed heap leach facilities.
As a result of the new Mining License, the new resource potential and the possible encroachment of the resource on the current mine layout, the Company is in the process of re-examining its original mine design and carrying out additional mine planning in order to ensure that its final development plans maximize the value of its Amulsar Project.
Accordingly, the Company has retained SNC-Lavalin of Perth Australia to complete a new feasibility-level (±15% cost contingency) crusher trade-off study. This study will be complete before end 2012. Preliminary findings imply that the installation of a single primary gyratory cone crusher, versus the currently planned staged installation of two primary jaw crushers, would reduce the overall crushing plant foot-print and the consequent impact on resource expansion. A single primary gyratory cone crusher would also likely allow for the operation to quickly achieve an ore mining rate of 10Mtpa and reduce initial earthworks, blasting and oversize re-handling costs.
In addition, with the potential for the definition of further leachable ore, Golder Associates Inc. of Denver, Colorado recently updated its heap leach site alternatives analysis and has identified additional potential valley-fill and conventional heap leach pad locations that may host more capacity than the currently permitted location.
The Company is currently working with the Armenian authorities on assessing various mine-design options that better reflect the underlying resource potential, the ultimate crushing and stacking capacity and fully satisfy the environmental and social obligations of the Amulsar gold deposit. The Armenian Government authorities have indicated their desire to work closely with the Company to ensure that any proposed improvements meet all regulatory requirements and do not in any way delay the planned production time-line.
CEO and President of Lydian International, Dr. Tim Coughlin says "Amulsar and particularly the Erato area appear to be undergoing something of a growth-spurt. It makes sense now to seriously consider the results of the trade-off and site alternative studies and consider new means of extracting maximum value with the usual full and due consideration for the local community and the environment. Our intention is to ensure that these additional design studies do not impact the development time-line which includes commencing construction in 2013."
The information in this news release was compiled and reviewed by Dr Tim Coughlin, BSc (Geology), MSC (Exploration and Mining), PhD (Structural Geology), FAusIMM; CEO and President of Lydian International Ltd and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
Lydian employees are instructed to follow standard operating and quality assurance procedures intended to ensure that all sampling techniques and sample results meet international reporting standards. Drill core is cut on-site and rock-chips are split to ensure representative sampling. Half core and remaining rock-chips are stored on-site. On-site personnel log and track all samples prior to sealing and shipping. Quality control is monitored by the insertion of blind certified standard reference materials and blanks into each sample shipment. All resource sample shipments are sealed and shipped to ALS Chemex, an independent third party. All assay work for the released results was carried out by ALS Chemex at its analytical laboratory in Rosia Montana, Romania. ALS Chemex's quality system complies with the requirements for the International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:1999. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples.