Crater Gold Mining is set to become Papua New Guinea’s next gold producer following the grant to its PNG subsidiary Anomaly Limited of the Mining Lease for the High Grade Zone (HGZ) Gold Project at Crater Mountain.
Following a rigorous technical and environmental assessment process involving the PNG Mineral Resources Authority and Department of Environment and Conservation the Minister for Mining, Byron Chan, signed the Mining Lease for the HGZ project.
Crater Mountain is 50km southwest of Goroka in Eastern Highlands Province. Formerly a tier-1 BHP asset, there has been more than 14,500 metres of diamond drilling to date, the majority focused on the Nevera prospect, which hosts the HGZ project.
Gold mineralisation at HGZ is confined to several narrow, highly oxidized veins that will be targeted by the small-scale, underground mining operation. The company anticipates extracting about 10,000 ounces of gold in the first 12 months of operation.
Crater Gold’s CEO Greg Starr says, “The granting of the Mining Lease is a watershed milestone for the company as we transition from developer to gold producer.
“With the mill and gravity concentration circuit already commissioned on site, we can effectively commence mining activities and gold production in the current quarter. The company is finalizing a Landowner Compensation Agreement to clear the way for gold production. Cash flows generated will assist in developing our other Crater Mountain prospects.
“We appreciate the efforts of the PNG Government authorities who have worked diligently to process the Mining Lease and look forward to reporting on gold production and revenues going forward.”
The new mine also represents the latest PNG minerals discovery of Crater Gold’s director – exploration Peter Macnab’s to achieve production. Peter Macnab is one of PNG’s most successful prospectors, playing a key role in the discovery of substantial mines such as Lihir (Newcrest), Wafi (Newcrest) and Frieda River (PanAust).