K92 Mining continues to ramp up production at the Irumafimpa Mine of the Kainantu project in Papua New Guinea. As well, the company is about to commence exploration drilling from underground set-ups to follow up on the recent Kora extension discovery hole, is preparing to mine and test a 2000 tonne bulk sample from Kora and continues regional exploration on the Pomasi Project.
Up until recently K92 has been mining from development areas at Irumafimpa but now is also mining from production stopes where higher gold and copper grades are anticipated.
Long hole stope production has commenced from the newly developed 1235mRL to 1250mRL stope area. It is anticipated that the commencement of this new stope production, combined with ongoing production from development and remnant stopes will allow commercial production to be achieved in September.
Additionally, extraction of material from planned stopes 1205S, 1220S and 1235S, which were awaiting geotechnical input from independent consultants to finalise the design and extraction schedules is scheduled to commence in the coming quarter. Extraction in this area will apply a combination of long hole stoping and flatbacking (cut & fill) depending on access and geotechnical considerations.
Development above the 1250 mRL is planned in the current quarter which is anticipated to provide development feed to the mill from the 1250 and 1265 mRL levels with commencement of stoping from these levels in Q4 2017.
Further, grade control drilling has identified additional stoping material below the previously planned lower limit of 1205 mRL and planning is under way to commence accessing this area in the Q4 2017. Further grade control drilling is also planned in this area as the limits to the down dip extension of the mineralisation has yet to be determined.
To date, approximately 7000 metres of grade control drilling has been completed at Irumafimpa, which means the company has grade control drilling for the next three months of production. Continuing with grade control drilling and staying ahead of production is key within K92's strategy of efficiently mining Irumafimpa.
Based on the recent high grade discovery of the Kora deposit extension, the design of the Kora exploration drive has been enhanced to incorporate the development of a footwall drive approximately 50 metres from the projected strike of the Kora Vein System.
This modification allows the development of drill cuddies approximately 100 metres closer to the interpreted position of the Kora vein system than previously planned, based on the results from a diamond drill hole which recorded an intersection of 5.4 metres @ 11.68 g/t gold, 25.5 g/t silver and 1.33% copper from 154 metres downhole, interpreted to be the discovery of an extension of the Kora deposit.
In addition to providing set ups for exploration drilling, this development will allow a bulk sample of the Kora deposit to be mined as early as September for testing and evaluation purposes.
A total of approximately 120 metres of development of the Kora exploration drive, access drive and footwall drive was completed during July. The first drill cuddy in the footwall drive will be completed in early August and drilling is planned to commence from this cuddy immediately following its completion.
The company has also arranged the mobilisation of a third more powerful underground diamond drilling rig from its contractor which is expected on site in September. This rig will allow holes of up to 900 metres to be drilled from underground, targeting rapid execution of the company's planned exploration and expansion work.
Additional to the work underground, K92 is also re-logging core from drilling at Kora conducted by previous operators. Of note, in the re-logging to-date, are high grade intercepts previously unreported by K92 such as 0.3 metres @ 15,350 g/t gold from 50.7 metres and 0.3 metres @ 6380 g/t from 62.4 metres.
Re-logging of the Kora core will assist and guide K92 as it embarks on more aggressive Kora exploration and expansion drilling in the coming weeks and months.
Meantime, the company has appointed John Lewins as chief executive officer. He is a mineral engineer with over 35 years of international leadership experience in the mining industry. He has held senior positions with companies operating in Africa, Australia, Asia, North America and the former Soviet Union.
Prior to his appointment as CEO, John Lewins has been a director and COO of K92. In addition, he has guided K92’s production re-start, overseen all site operations and has led initiatives such as the publishing of the Kora preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and the development of the Irumafimpa mine plan.
Former K92 CEO Ian Stalker will remain very involved as a director and in a strategic planning role.
K92 chairman R Stuart (Tookie) Angus said, “The Board of K92 is very pleased with this CEO appointment. John has done an excellent job leading the execution of the K92 business plan and is well positioned to lead this company as CEO via a continued ramp up of production and exploration. We also know Ian will add significant value in his new role and thank him for his leadership to date, starting right from the launch of the company through to production.”