Underground operations have recommenced at K92 Mining’s Kainantu Gold Project in Papua New Guinea following the signing of a resolution between the local landowner group, the PNG Mineral Resources Authority, and the company. The resolution came after some mine equipment was damaged in an incident.
K92 says extensive evaluation of the underground mine revealed that only minor damage to infrastructure and mobile plant occurred and repairs have been largely completed.
As a result, mining operations will recommence almost immediately, with first ore trucking expected next week and pre-incident levels expected to be achieved by the end of October.
One of two diamond drill rigs has been set up in the new Kora drill set up (cuddy) approximately 50 metres from the previously intersected Kora lode and drilling has commenced.
The company has completed the first 150 metres of development of the Kora exploration cross cut and footwall drive designed to allow more efficient and effective diamond drilling of the projected Kora Vein system.
A second cuddy should be completed by the end of October, allowing a second rig to commence drilling the Kora lode approximately 100 metres along strike.
Based on the recent high-grade discovery of the Kora extension, the design of the Kora exploration drive was 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 at 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.
The intersection is approximately 500 metres along strike and 150 metres down dip from the closest point of the currently defined Kora deposit inferred resource and is typical of the Kora/Eutompi mineralisation.
The company has a third MT2010 low profile truck in transit and due to arrive on site within the next two weeks, while on site the company has a Volvo 30 tonne ADT (articulated dump truck) which is designed to go underground to pick up ore and two Komatsu 35 tonne ADT's that can tram on surface, so does not anticipate that trucking will be a significant hindrance to operations.
All other equipment including the company's LHD loaders and the drill rigs are fully operational.
K92 acknowledges the considerable work and goodwill which has been brought to the process of achieving a satisfactory resolution by the Mining Minister Johnson Tuke, the Mineral Resource Authority under managing director Philip Samar, the executives of the Bilimoia Interim Landowners Association (BILA) and representatives of the Eastern Highlands Provincial and Kainantu Local Governments and thanks them for their efforts.
K92 CEO John Lewins said, “The signing of the resolution with the Bilimoia Interim Landowner Association addresses the underlying issues with the landowners and allows the company to focus on building up production from underground operations to target commercial production in the near term.
“Exploration drilling to follow up on the recently announced Kora deposit extension discovery is ready to start and mine production from onsite will recommence shortly.
“We thank the various parties who worked with K92 throughout this process including Mining Minister Tuke and Mr Samar of the Mineral Resources Authority.
“We look forward to a strengthening relationship with BILA, its members and our other Landowner Groups and working with them to realise the opportunities that this project will provide for all involved.”