Shanta announces the progress items achieved to date pertaining to the determination of an updated Chunya resource, and commencement of mine construction at the New Luika Gold Mine.
During the 2010/2011 Phase 3 RC drilling program at Chunya, Shanta conducted more than 10,000 metres of RC drilling on 8 mineralised targets within the licence. The exploration drilling campaign was completed on the 24th January 2011. Detailed mapping and sampling of 196 exploration trenches excavated and sampled prior to commissioning of the exploration drilling programme enabled Company geologists to target and successfully intersect mineralised structures in the vast majority of RC holes drilled.
Extensions to four existing mineralised prospects (Bauhinia Creek, Luika, Elizabeth Hill, and Black Tree Hill) were identified, and four previously untested targets were drill-tested (Luika South, Shamba, Ilunga and the “MK” target).
Composite gold grades achieved from both extensions to existing mineralised prospects and newly tested targets suggest significant potential to upgrade the currently published Chunya Resource.
Concurrent with Phase 3 RC drilling, the Company commissioned an airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) survey covering the entire licence area – this to enable resource and mine design engineering consultants to integrate the highly accurate Digital Terrain Data (DTM) in the updated 3-D resource block models and mine design parameters. Commissioning of the LIDAR survey was delayed by approximately 2 months due to fly-over permitting procedures. The Company received the comprehensive LIDAR database on the 22nd February 2011.
Integration of the new LIDAR DTM data into the mineralised envelope wireframes and block modelling of ore bodies is in an advanced state. Resource consultants have conducted site due diligence visits and are in possession of the complete Chunya drilling and trenching database. Engineering consultants have been provided the preliminary modelling to enable the commissioning of detailed pit optimisation and mining scheduling. The Company is confident that, albeit delayed, LIDAR survey information currently available will impact positively on the resource re-modelling process and the design of pre-strip and mining scheduling. Preparation at the plant site will commence during the week starting 14th March 2011 and the initial fleet of mining equipment is scheduled to be mobilised by 31st of March 2011.
Walton Imrie, Executive Chairman commented: The Company is delighted with the drilling results achieved in the 2010 RC programme and the likely positive impact these will have on the New Luika Gold Mine resource and the mine’s financials. The improved accuracy of our DTM will ensure successful implementation of the mine plan and achievement of our goals, significantly adding to shareholder value.