By Philip Kepson
The most prolonged gold exploration project in the country, Mt Kare on the border of Enga and Hela Provinces is moving towards full mining operation if everything goes as planned, according to top executives of Indochine, an Australian exploration company.
The country manager for Indochine, George Niumataiwalu, brought a team of officials from Mt Kare to Wabag last week to brief Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and members of the provincial executive council on the progress of the exploration activities.
|Niumataiwalu addressing Gov Ipatas and the Engan PEC|
Mr Niumataiwalu said his company had already completed a pre-feasibility study at a cost of K65 million.
He said during the 10 month PFS period, two camps were set up with more than 300 people being employed while 58 drill holes were dug to fulfil important requirements of the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) before moving onto the second stage of undertaking a bankable feasibility study.
He said from initial assessments, Mt Kare was expected to produce 100,000 to 160,000 ounces of gold per annum.
“In monetary terms, it is expected to turn about 200 million Australian dollars a year while 2 billion Australian dollars in eight years,” Mr Niumataiwalu said.
He was optimistic that this figure would be increased following the completion of the BFS planned to be undertaken upon presentation of their report on the PFS to government authorities towards the end of this month.
Mr Niumataiwalu said the company was concerned with commencing the BFS as soon as allowable to determine the final life span of the mine and total production including its monetary value.
He reiterated that it was important for parties involved including landowners of Hela and Enga Provinces, national government authorities, provincial leaders and other agencies to co-operate towards seeing the mine producing results in 2015.
He added further that the company was taking a consensual approach in the handling of landowner issues, particularly with respect to land ownership, equity and participation.
Meanwhile, Governor Ipatas is reportedly happy with the progress of the project and assured Indochine of his administration’s full backing towards the project.