MONGOLIA – Heruga resource boosted

An updated inferred mineral resource estimate for the Entrée Gold and Ivanhoe Mines’ Heruga deposit in southern Mongolia shows the joint venture property now contains 910 million tonnes grading 0.48% copper, 0.49 grams/tonne gold and 141 ppm molybdenum.
The estimate, which was received from joint venture partner and project operator Oyu Tolgoi LLC, has been incorporated into an independent NI 43-101 compliant technical report.
This estimate represents a 20% increase in tonnage and a 15% increase in contained copper equivalent pounds of copper at a 0.6% copper equivalent cut-off over the March 2008 resource estimate.  Based on these new figures, the Heruga deposit could contain 9.5 billion pounds of copper and 14 million ounces of gold.
Entrée’s president and CEO Greg Crowe says, “The increased inferred mineral resource estimate clearly demonstrates the potential of this growing deposit.
“Heruga hosts some of the highest gold-copper ratios within the Oyu Tolgoi mineralized trend, along with considerable molybdenum content.  The deposit has been traced northwards where it remains open and appears to deepen.
“Most importantly for Entrée, geological and geophysical data suggests a possible offset to the Heruga deposit south of the currently drilled resource.  Along this trend, there is an additional 4km of highly prospective untested ground on the Javhlant licence.”
The Heruga deposit is within Entrée’s Javhlant mining licence immediately south of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposit and within the Entrée-Ivanhoe Joint Venture Property.  Forty-three drill holes totaling more than 58,000 metres have been used in the resource estimate. Three of the 43 holes were drilled on the Oyu Tolgoi licence immediately north of the common border with Javhlant.  These have confirmed the extension of Heruga mineralization northward to and across the joint venture property boundary.

MONGOLIA – Hunnu acquires coal interest

Hunnu Coal is acquiring a 60% interest in the Unst Khudag Coal Mine and surrounding licences in the Dundgobi Province of Mongolia.
The Unst Khudag mine is 290km from Ulaanbaatar and about 200km from the Mongolian railway grid. The project consists of two exploration licences and one mining licence covering more than 59,000 hectares.
The mining licence covers about 1600 hectares on which the relevant government authority has approved the mining of 98.7 million tonnes of coal.
Exploration programs undertaken at Unst Khudag have included mapping at various scales, trenching, geophysical surveys and drilling. A total of 39 drill holes have been completed to depths less than 100 metres.
Drilling has intersected a single coal seam with thicknesses varying from 5 to 31 metres. The coal seam has about four metres of unconsolidated overburden and dips under cover gently at zero to five degrees.
The exploration target is 250 million to 500 million tonnes, there is a low strip ratio of less than 1:1 from start-up and coal analysis reveals high quality thermal coal with quality parameters averaging 6460 kCal/kg, ash of 13.9% and moisture content of 23.9%.
Hunnu is targeting first production from Unst Khudag in the latter half of 2010 and is discussing off-take agreements with Mongolian and Chinese coal users.
There has also been trial production of about 30,000 tonnes for bulk test work with potential off-take partners and local utilities.
Hunnu is undertaking a detailed operational review of the project with particular attention to quantifying coal tonnages and coal quality on the mining licence and surrounding exploration licences; reviewing existing coal test work and bulk sampling results; reviewing the current mine plan and feasibility study; and examining near term staffing requirements.

MONGOLIA – Shivee West exploration

Entrée Gold has mobilized a field crew to begin the 2010 exploration program at its Lookout Hill prospects in southern Mongolia.
Exploration will start in the new field season at Entrée’s 100%-owned western portion of the Shivee Tolgoi mining licence (Shivee West), adjacent to the Oyu Tolgoi mine development program.
Although the northern winter prevented physical exploration work, the company has been re-evaluating previous deep penetrating geophysical work.
The surveys cover a belt of prospective Devonian rocks identified in earlier programs which are geologically similar to the Devonian-aged setting of the Entree-Ivanhoe Mines’ joint venture deposits, Hugo North Extension and Heruga, and Ivanhoe Mines’ nearby Oyu Tolgoi deposits.
The geophysical re-evaluation will be combined with further geochemical and geological surface work to generate new drill targets. About 5000 metres of follow-up drill testing is planned for later in 2010.
The company is also working through the mining licence application process in order to convert all or a portion of its Togoot exploration licence to a mining licence. A decision regarding the conversion application is expected shortly.

MOVERS & SHAKERS – New AusIMM president

Mining industry consultant Alice Clark has been elected the first female president in the 117-year history of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), which represents more than 10,000 professional members in the global minerals industry.
Alice Clark, who will take up her new role in January 2011, has worked in the minerals industry for 25 years in a range of roles in both small and large companies. Prior to setting up an international consultancy in 2002 specializing in the assessment of exploration and mining activities, she was chief geologist at the Mount Isa copper-silver-lead-zinc operations.
She is a director of AusIMM and deputy chair of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC), which sets the standards for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves to the Australian Securities Exchange and the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
In her acceptance speech she noted the importance of self-regulation and the maintenance of high professional standards in the mining industry.
“The AusIMM Code of Ethics and the JORC and VALMIN Codes are at the core of the institute and professionalism. I am particularly passionate about our institute’s codes, their effective application, and communication of their importance within the institute and to the broader industry and the community.”
Current AusIMM president Greg Chalmers said that in appointing a leader with extensive commercial experience and a longstanding dedication to continual improvement of professional practices, the institute had shown that professionalism remained its core value.
“Like our industry as a whole and the Australian communities who rely on mining for their well-being, the Board and members of The AusIMM face many challenges and we have enormous confidence in Alice as someone who will capably represent our members to governments and the community.”
Alice Clark says she is very concerned at the potential impact of the Australian government’s Resources Super Profits Tax on the mining industry and the broader economy.
“As a long term resident of the mining town of Mt Isa, it is clear that the super tax will have complex and lasting impacts on our community.
“Companies have already wound-back or cancelled exploration programs and are reviewing future mining investment. This will not only reduce the employment prospects for professional geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists, but all employees in mining operations and support industries.
“Fewer mining jobs in these centres will translate into fewer jobs in engineering, retailing, accommodation, travel – in fact, every area of business activity. This is the human side of the impact of a government decision which was taken with no consultation and with little regard to the macro or micro economic impacts.”

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