Goldstone Resources (LSE:GRL) provided an update on Friday regarding developments at its Akrokeri-Homase Gold Project in south-western Ghana. The Project includes two previously producing assets in the world-class Ashanti Belt, the high-grade Akrokeri underground mine and Homase open-pit mine. Goldstone is aiming to deliver gold production from both mines by mid-2020.
The Akrokeri mine previously produced 75,000 ounces of gold at a recovered average grade of approximately 24g/t Au, while historical recovery from the Homase open-pit mine totals 52,000 oz Au at an average grade of 2.5g/t.
The project lies 8 km along strike from the Obuasi Gold Mine, one of the world’s major gold mines with a total historical and current resource in excess of 70M ounces.
Work continues to make the shallow workings safe at the Akrokeri mine, and those that have been accessed are being mapped. At the North Shaft, where Level 1 the process of clearing out old rails, wood and debris is underway to form safe access to continue working in the shaft for the reopening of the mine to access the workings down to 400 feet.
A pilot heap leach project is underway at the Homase open-pit mine. Heap leaching is a process involves a series of chemical processes, through which the mineral ores are piled into the form of a heap, and a leach solution is spread over the ore surface to leach metal from the heap. The process can take several weeks or months and Goldstone reports after the first 40 days of its pilot, recoveries are 67.5% using 2.5 tonnes of material from Homase South.
The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa, Ghana, estimates that the leach cycle will be 65 days with recoveries of up to 80%. The oxide zone within Homase South is demonstrating suitability to the low-capex leaching treatment.
A planned Scoping Study will also look at the Homase North Resource Zone within the Homase Trend and the Environmental Baseline Study has also been expanded to include the potential Homase North pit.
Emma Priestley, CEO of GoldStone, commented:
"Our strategy of advancing development at both Akrokeri and Homase is centred on achieving production at multiple mining operations in as short time as practicable. Akrokeri has the distinct advantage of demonstrating exceptionally high-grade material, including intercepts of 1.0 metre at 51.01 g/t Au, and established mining infrastructure, whilst Homase offers the potential benefit of being amenable to low capital heap leach treatment. When looking at the assets in unison, I am confident that GoldStone has a clear pathway to production in mid-2020, utilising the significant support and expertise of our strategic shareholders and team who have a proven track record in building gold mines."
Author: Stuart Langelaan
Disclosure: The author does not own shares in the company mentioned above