Stoping has commenced within the central high grade gold block at Crater Gold Mining’s High Grade Zone (HGZ) Gold Project at Crater Mountain in Papua New Guinea (PNG). With stoping under way the company expects that the mining rate and the recovered gold grade will increase.
Development over the past year has delineated the HGZ from the 1960 metre level original adit up to surface at the 1990 metre level. The mining focus has now switched from development and exploration to stoping of the high grade gold block from the 1960 metre level up.
Recent gold production has been predominantly from development material on 1980 metre level including material beyond the limits of the central high grade block to confirm the interpretation of the zone and to ensure that high grade gold would not be left behind when stoping began.
Crater Gold’s PNG general manager Richard Johnson said, “Our aspirational objective of becoming a profitable, low-cost, high-margin gold producer is nearing fruition. A third hammer mill has been installed which will allow continuous operation of two mills, substantially increasing throughput going forward.
“Our focus remains on ramping up production to full capacity as mining focuses on the gold rich structure within the central high grade block of the HGZ.”
While the company’s current focus is on the HGZ mine, there remains potential to increase the JORC-compliant resource of 24 million tonnes @ 1.0 grams/tonne gold for 790,000 ounces at the nearby Mixing Zone project at Crater Mountain.
Crater Mountain is 50km southwest of Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province. Formerly a tier-1 BHP asset, there has been in excess of 14,500 metres of diamond drilling to date, the majority focussed on the Nevera prospect, which hosts the HGZ mine and Mixing Zone project.