Central Asia Resources is making progress in its bid to refinance and to restart mining operations at the Dalabai Gold Project.
Negotiations with a Kazakh bank regarding US$2.5m debt finance for the operation are almost complete, with final documentation and legal due diligence under way.
The company has also restructured its debt to Manas Resources. The debt is in the amount of US$450,000 and follows the mutual agreement between the parties to terminate the joint venture agreement on the AltynTas project entered into in 2012. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, this debt was due for repayment by January 18, 2014.
Manas has agreed to convert its debt into equity, with the issue of Central Asia shares at the next equity capital raising issue price, subject to regulatory or shareholder approvals, if any, and successful completion of the debt financing referred to above. To compensate Manas for the extension of term for this loan, an additional 15% of shares will be issued to Manas with the increased total value of US$517,500.
Meanwhile, Central Asia has engaged an independent Kazakh consultant to update the mineral resource estimates for the AltynTas and Kepken deposits. These updated resources estimates are being prepared according to Kazakh requirements for submission to the GZK Reserves committee, and as such are not reported in a JORC format.
Due to the inclusion of additional drill hole data, a slightly lower specific gravity factor, and differences in the interpreted continuity of mineralization between these estimates and the previously quoted (2009) estimates, it is anticipated that some material differences may arise.
As a result of this analysis, it is anticipated that the tonnage of inferred resources at both Kepken and AltynTas will be reduced, resulting in lower total resources but a higher proportion of indicated resources, and an overall higher level of confidence. Re-estimation of these resources in JORC format is expected to be completed in coming months.
ASX-listed Central Asia Resources is focused on exploration, development and production of gold in Kazakhstan. The company holds two licence areas in Kazakhstan. These include four deposits with JORC resources, all of which have exploration upside, and areas of significant prospectivity based on extensive exploration during Soviet times. The licence areas are within recognized gold belts, and close to operating mines and infrastructure.
Trial mining commenced at the first project, Dalabai, in February 2012 using shallow open pit mining and heap leach technology, with a further 1040 ounces produced in late 2013 from leaching of stockpiled material.