Location and Description of the Project
The 4.15 million ounce Montagne d’Or gold deposit is located in north-west French Guiana, 180 kilometers west of the capital, Cayenne, and 80 kilometres south of the department capital, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. The Project is accessible via a 120 kilometre all-season forest road from the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, where the port of St. Laurent is located, or by small aircraft to the Project's base camp. Several roads traverse the mining concessions providing truck access. The full service camp can accommodate 65 people.
In September 2013 Nordgold has entered into a Binding Letter of Intent with Columbus Gold Corp. to acquire 50.01% of Montagne d’Or deposit.
Nordgold can earn a 50.01% interest in the project by completing a bankable feasibility study and by spending not less than US$30 million over three years in staged work expenditures, which includes a requirement for Nordgold to pay Columbus Gold US$4.2 million in cash no later than May 21, 2014. The US$4.2 million payment is due in consideration of Columbus Gold purchasing an underlying royalty on the project.
Montagne d’Or is located within the Guiana Gold Belt. The mineral deposits of the Guiana Gold Belt are very similar to those in other greenstone terrains such as in West Africa. This will enable Nordgold to apply its deep knowledge of West African geology to the Project and other projects in the region. Columbus Gold, with its many years of operational experience in French Guiana and unique local knowledge will serve a strong partner in the advancement of the project.
Columbus Gold recently completed a Phase I drilling program that consisted of 15,824 metres in 45 core holes at the Montagne d'Or gold deposit.
At a cut-off of 0.3 grams per tonne gold, Inferred Mineral Resources are estimated to total 117.1 million tonnes of ore at 1.43 g/t Au (5.37 million ounces). At a cut-off of 1.0 g/t Au, Inferred Mineral Resources are estimated to total 58.1 million tonnes at 2.22 g/t Au (4.15 million ounces), representing an increase of 184% from the previous inferred resource estimate.
Preliminary metallurgical testing indicates +85% gold recoveries by gravity, flotation and cyanidation (the tests were conducted in 2008, but not by Columbus Gold). Nordgold intends to conduct intensive metallurgical tests to determine the optimum flowsheet and technologies for the production of gold Dore.
Mineralisation consists of semi-massive sulphide bands, stringers and dissemination of probable volcanic origin. Visible gold is rarely observed and preliminary mineralogical work suggests that it occurs along microfractures and on sulphide grain boundaries. Mineral deposits are typical of those in other greenstone terrains such as in Canada, Australia and West Africa. Potential future mining will be by open pit.
In November Columbus Gold commenced a US$11.8 million work program at Montagne d'Or. The 14 month program is entirely funded by Nordgold and among other things includes the Phase II drill program, detailed metallurgy, and baseline environmental studies, with the aim of completing a resource update and a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) by the end of 2014.
The planned drill program includes 27,600 meters of diamond core drilling and is designed to complete a 50-meter spacing array to a vertical depth of 200 meters along the full strike extent of the current resources, with select 25-metre in-fill. The denser 25-metre to 50 meter drill pattern is expected to internally increase the resources between widely spaced holes, convert much of the inferred resource to the indicated and measured categories, and provide confidence in the grade-width distribution.