Kingston increases gold-silver resource and confirms starter pit
Kingston Resources Ltd (ASX:KSN) has reported a significant increase in the JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate for its flagship Misima Gold Project, PNG, incorporating the results of recent successful drilling programs and updated gold price assumptions.
The updated Misima Resource has delivered a 15% increase in total gold ounces and 30% increase in total silver ounces and now comprises an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 105.5 million tonnes at 0.93 g/t gold and 5.4 g/t silver for 3.2 million ounces gold and 18.2 million ounces silver.
There is substantial potential to further expand the mineral resource and upgraded additional inferred ounces outlined below.
This confirms the project’s status as one of the most significant mid-tier gold development opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Importantly, a pre-feasibility study (PFS) will commence in June, and this along with an ore reserve estimate should be completed by the end of 2020.
By way of background, Kingston commenced drilling at Misima in June 2018 with 49% equity ownership in the project.
The company has since increased its equity ownership to 80.5% and has a non-binding agreement to move to 100% ownership.
Ewatinona confirmed as proposed starter pit
Early work at Misima highlighted that a starter pit would considerably enhance project economics.
With this in mind, the exploration strategy has focused on near-surface opportunities, and management has now confirmed Ewatinona as the intended starter pit.
The Misima Resource update has focused on updating the geological model at Ewatinona while also revising project assumptions around cut-off grade and gold price inputs.
The updated resource will now underpin the PFS, which all going to plan will be completed by the end of the year.
The Umuna Deposit currently contains 94% of the total resource ounces and is expected to underpin the PFS work focusing on a large-scale, long-life open pit mining project.
Highlighting the significance of Ewatinona and Umuna, Kingston’s managing director Andrew Corbett said, “Looking ahead, there are considerable operational and economic benefits to be unlocked by focusing on Ewatinona and Umuna.
‘’Both areas leverage off previous mining access which remains in place as they have both been mined historically with a combined total of over 90 million tonnes of ore processed through a standard CIL (carbon in leach) plant.
‘’Kingston has considerable historical information on the mining, milling and geotechnical characteristics of these orebodies, as well as the historical processing plant configuration.
‘’As well as giving us confidence in the project’s future, this information will save time and costs in delivering the upcoming PFS.’’
Potential upgrades and extensions to both resources
Kingston’s primary focus for ongoing drilling in 2020 will be on upgrading and potentially extending both the Umuna and Ewatinona Resource with a focus on near-surface opportunities.
Key growth opportunities at Umuna include a resource model update, follow-up drilling and extensions, including Tonowak and Padocol as indicated below.
Growth drivers at Ewatinona include resource drilling to upgrade and extend the resource, as well as the identification of extensional targets identified from recent field work outside of the current resource.
The follow-up drilling will include the promising Abi discovery which lies 600 metres south-east of Ewatinona.
Importantly, the resource model update will include an additional nine holes for which assays were received following the resource cut-off date.
The close proximity of Abi to Ewatinona, as well as other regional targets can be seen below.