Tag Archives: Shanta Gold

MSALABS continues to build global PhotonAssay offering on ‘undeniable’ demand

MSALABS, a global provider of geochemical laboratory services for the exploration and mining sectors and a majority-owned subsidiary of Capital, has provided an operational development update to coincide with the annual PDAC convention in Toronto, Canada, which highlights the deployment of western Canada’s first PhotonAssay™ technology unit.

The first few months of 2023 have seen MSALABS maintain its significant growth momentum from 2022, with the delivery of a strong operational performance from existing contracts, as well as the successful commissioning of a number of new laboratories, it said.

The western Canada first occurred at Prince George, in British Columbia, with the unit now commissioned and set to begin processing samples from a broad range of customers in the region.

In January, meanwhile, the company commissioned a PhotonAssay unit at Barrick’s Kibali mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the largest gold mine on the Africa continent.

MSALABS has been a champion of Chrysos Corp’s PhotonAssay technology, which it says delivers multiple advantages over the slower, more hazardous fire assay process, such as faster, safer, more accurate and environmentally-friendly analysis of gold, silver, copper and other elements.

In July last year, it expanded its partnership with Chrysos Corp, planning for the deployment of 21 units across the globe by 2025.

In its latest update, MSALABS said its traditional business also continued to grow. with the commissioning of mine site and regional laboratories.

Included among this is the commissioning of the Singida mine site laboratory for Shanta Gold’s Singida mine in Tanzania, following a three-year contract, awarded late last year.

In Mali, meanwhile, MSALABS commissioned the laboratory in Bougouni, which will support gold and lithium operations in the southern part of the country. The first samples from Leo Lithium’s Goulamina operation are expected within days, it said;

At PDAC, the company is also expecting to sign a franchise partnership with Aurora Minerals Group to provide geochemistry services to the burgeoning Kazakhstan mining industry.

Stuart Thomson, MSALABS CEO, said: “MSALABS has got off to a very strong start in 2023, testament to the strong demand we are seeing for our services but also the continued hard work of our employees to deliver such impressive growth. Announcing new labs across all three of our major regions, further diversification of commodity mix and entry into a new country is indicative of the increasing strength and robustness of MSALABS.

“In particular, the demand for Chrysos PhotonAssay is undeniable with a multitude of major mining companies continuing to run trials and converting to the revolutionary technology. In partnership with Chrysos, we are proud to be bringing this technology to western Canada with our new commercial laboratory at Prince George where we can service the significant mining region.”

Micromine software verifies gold reserve at Shanta’s Singida project

Shanta Gold has tapped the resource estimation powers of Micromine to confirm the presence of a gold reserve at its Singida project, in central Tanzania, according to the mining software provider.

MICROMINE’s exploration and mine design solution, Micromine, which offers integrated tools for modelling, estimation, design, optimisation and scheduling, was used to validate Singida’s 243,000 oz gold deposit, it said.

AIM-listed gold producer Shanta Gold has defined ore resources on the New Luika and Singida projects, in Tanzania.

The New Luika gold mine commenced production in 2012 and produced 874,506 oz in 2019. A mining licence was granted for Singida in 2012, with drilling results from an exploration program conducted in 2016 and a feasibility study indicating the project had nine orebodies, within a 5 km radius, with a combined resource of 858,000 oz of gold. It is estimated production will average 26,000 oz/y for an initial six-year period.

In May 2020, a revised reserve estimate was declared, enabling Shanta Gold to move towards construction and first production at Singida, confident in the possibility of a number of high-grade open pits, MICROMINE said.

Shanta Gold used Micromine to interrogate exploration drilling data to establish and validate the revised estimate, the company explained, with an independent validation process run for each core data log sheet using the software.

“Where there were queries, a report file was created, exported to Excel and sent to the personnel responsible for data capturing to correct the original information,” MICROMINE explained. “Once data confirmation of the updates was received, all databases were refreshed and the validation process repeated in Micromine, with the use of form sets, until all data had been validated.”

Lee Bothma, MICROMINE Africa Sales Manager, said: “Shanta Gold has trusted Micromine to validate data at its flagship New Luika gold mine so it was an obvious choice to use at Singida. Micromine’s Resource Estimation functionality enables a precise and detailed analysis of the resource based on early exploration data.

“Over the years, Shanta Gold has used Micromine’s tools to model and estimate open-pit ore reserves at New Luika. The ability to validate the presence of additional mineralisation has significantly extended the life of mine.”

A JORC-compliant reserve of 2.51 Mt, grading 3 g/t and containing 243,000 oz of gold at a cutoff grade of 1 g/t was declared for Singida in May 2020. Of the reserve estimate, 91% of the contained gold is within 120 m of the surface, highlighting the potential for reserve expansion, MICROMINE said.

The reserve represents a 50% conversion of the project’s independently-verified measured and indicated resource and an updated mine plan will incorporate the new reserve estimate, the company explained.

Singida’s JORC-complaint mineral resource estimate (MRE) was also re-calculated and independently verified by Pivot Mining Consultants. The total MRE is 11.8 Mt, grading 2.38 g/t and containing 904,000 oz of gold, using a cutoff grade of 1.0 g/t. This includes a 17% increase in measured and indicated resources, totalling 5.7 Mt, grading 2.66 g/t and containing 484,000 oz of gold.

Ilunga UG mine adds to Shanta’s high-grade gold production options

Shanta Gold says it has brought its Ilunga underground mine at the New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM), in south-western Tanzania, into commercial production on schedule and on budget.

The first ore stope is now in production at a depth of 98 m below the portal and 130 m below surface, while the primary ventilation fan and underground infrastructure are installed and operational, the company said.

Commercial output comes following gross pre-production capital investment of only $7.9 million ($5 million after netting off pre-production revenue) and less than 12 months after the underground portal blast at Ilunga was carried out, Shanta said.

Ilunga is now the third source of high-grade underground feed from NLGM alongside Bauhinia Creek and Luika mines. The underground mine has a probable ore reserve of 660,500 t at 5.56 g/t for 118,000 oz contained, as well as inferred resources of 636,647 t at 3.57 g/t for 73,067 oz.

Shanta has previously said it views Ilunga as a high-grade production option in Tanzania, with the potential to contribute up to 25,000 t/month of ore and an average 20,000 oz per planned level of development.

The company previously moved development forward 12 months after the project showed off a “compelling business case”. This included a very low capital intensity of $75/oz (pre-production) and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 129% at a gold price of $1,200/oz.

Underground drilling targeting the conversion of the inferred ounces into the mine plan and extending the mine life at Ilunga is expected to take place in the first half of 2020.

Eric Zurrin, Chief Executive of Shanta Gold, said: “Bringing these high-grade ounces online within budget and on time is yet another example of our model at work, namely: adding low cost ounces to resources at our well established operations, thereby increasing the mine life and the free cash flow generation potential at NLGM.”

Shanta Gold speeds ahead at Ilunga underground development in Tanzania

Shanta Gold has carried out the portal blast for its Ilunga underground development in Tanzania, three months ahead of schedule.

The company now expects to produce first ore from the project in mid-2019, becoming the third active source of gold in its New Luika operations.

Shanta views Ilunga as a high-grade production option in Tanzania, with the potential to contribute up to 25,000 t/month of ore and an average 20,000 oz per planned level of development.

The company previously moved development forward 12 months after the project showed off a “compelling business case”, Shanta said. This included a very low capital intensity of $75/oz (pre-production) and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 129% at a gold price of $1,200 /oz.

Shanta currently has reserves of 660,500 tonnes at 5.56 g/t for 118,000 oz at Ilunga underground, which is just 3.5 km from the existing processing plant at New Luika.

In addition to providing a new production base, the development of an underground mine at Ilunga will give the company infrastructure to drill off some exploration targets.

This exploration drilling, which also includes underground work at the Bauhnia Creek deposit (part of New Luika), will see the company target, at least, the replacement of reserves on an ongoing basis.

The company’s flagship New Luika gold mine started production in 2012 and produced 79,585 oz in 2017 and 38,200 oz in the first half of 2018. Shanta currently plans to produce 82,000−88,000 oz at New Luika at an all-in sustaining cost of $680-730/oz.