Antilles test work feeds into Cuban gold feasibility

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Location of the La Demajagua project in Cuba
Camera IconLocation of the La Demajagua project in Cuba Credit: File

ASX-listed Antilles Gold’s maiden drilling program over its La Demajagua gold deposit in Cuba continues at a cracking pace with the company now sourcing material from mineralised drill core to undertake metallurgical test work. SGS Peru has been appointed to perform the test work which is aimed at establishing preliminary concentrate grades and recoveries for gold and silver, an integral piece in the definitive feasibility study puzzle.

According to the company, the test work is essential for optimising the flotation process in order to maximise gold recoveries and efficiently produce a high-grade concentrate.

SGS will also undertake oxidation tests using the flotation concentrate for both the pressure oxidation – or “POX” – process and Glencore Technology’s “Albion” process to determine likely gold and silver recoveries from cyanide leach after oxidation.

Joining Antilles’ board as Technical Director is Dr Jinxing Ji who will oversee the upcoming test work. Dr Ji’s resume includes a recent stint as Director of Metallurgical Services for Eldorado Gold Corporation where he focussed on the processing of refractory ore from Eldorado’s mines and projects in China, Romania, Greece and Turkey.

The La Demajagua gold project is located on a small island, the Isle of Youth, about 100km south of mainland Cuba and incorporates the historical Delita gold mine workings. The mine site is accessible from the port city of Nueva Gerona via 40km of paved two-lane highway. The site is also connected to the state electricity grid, water supply and fibre optic cable.

Antilles and joint venture partner, state-owned GeoMinera, are now expediting La Demajagua towards production and the partners are expecting to release a maiden JORC 2012 resource before the close of 2021. Presently, the company’s exploration target over the deposit is an impressive 16 to 20 million tonnes at a grade ranging from 2.3 to 2.7 grams per tonne gold and a handy 17 to 23 g/t of silver.

The projected resource at La Demajagua will likely contain more than 1.2 million ounces of gold and 8.7 million ounces of silver according to Antilles, however with drilling planned through to the end of the year that number looks set to grow as deeper drilling continues to return higher-grade intercepts.

The company recently announced its maiden drilling program over the La Demajagua gold deposit is well ahead of schedule and turning out a plethora of high-grade intercepts. Results to date include an impressive 6 metres at 13.25 g/t gold and 39.88 g/t silver, which includes 2m at 21.95 g/t gold from 177m down-hole.

Additional intercepts from the latest round of drilling include 5m at 5.37 g/t gold and 79.38 g/t silver from 6.5m and 26m at 4.75 g/t gold, which includes 5m at 8.37 g/t from 32.5m down-hole.

Following the estimation of a JORC resource, Antilles work program will move into high-gear with the company aiming to commission a mining operation before the end of 2023. The joint venture is looking at a phased move into production and proposes an initial 800,000 tonne per year open pit mining operation to produce 60,000 tonnes of high-grade gold-silver sulphide concentrate per annum over an initial six-year mine life.

With the rods still spinning and strong indicators mineralisation remains open at depth, punters will no doubt be keen to see if the current resource is just the tip of the iceberg.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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