Australian-listed minerals exploration company Republic Gold (ASX: RAU) has announced there is potential for a major increase of the treatment plant throughput rate to 2.7M tonnes per annum at its Amayapampa Project in Bolivia.
Republic Managing Director John Kelly said the Company’s recent Amayapampa resource upgrade announcement to ASX was perhaps the most significant made by the Company to-date.
"Republic is now considering a treatment plant throughput rate of 2.7M tonnes per annum and a possible mine life of up to 10 years at this rate.
"This is a testament to the efforts of the Company’s staff, particularly the workforce at Amayapampa, when you compare the original expected throughput rate of 0.85M tonnes per annum over a possible 10 years when the Project was purchased 22 months ago.
“The Project has had a number of objectives to meet to advance to this stage but with the full support of all stakeholders, this Project will proceed as it will bring significant social and economic benefits to the people of Amayapampa and surrounding areas.”
Meanwhile, the company welcomed the appointment of a local politician from near-by Llallagua, Senor Jose Pimentel as the new Minister for Mining and Metallurgy.
Mr Kelly said the appointment of a local in Senor Jose Pimentel as Minister for Mining and Metallurgy was very positive for the Project.
When the Company purchased Amayapampa in April 2008 the prognosis for the Project was an annual production rate of 850,000 tonnes per annum, an average metallurgical recovery of 83.8% for the potential production of approximately 360,000 ounces over 10 years from a total resource of 720,000 ounces.
In late-2008 the Company increased the resource to in excess of 1M ounces and decided that a more applicable annual production rate was approximately 1.8M tonnes per annum based upon a Measured and Indicated resource of approximately 670,000 ounces.
With the recent, conservative mineral resource upgrade announced last week to 990,000 ounces in the Measured and Indicated categories, the Board has decided to instruct its engineering consultants to investigate increasing by 50% the treatment rate previously considered to 2.7M tonnes per annum.
With the current round of metallurgical optimisation work aimed at increasing the metallurgical recovery in the primary mineralisation from the current 86.6% this could see the project producing at an average of approximately 90,000 ounces per annum over 10 years, with production rates to be sought in the critical early years of the mine well in excess of 100,000 ounces per annum.
Mr Kelly said Amayapampa was economically robust and the Company was very confident that the capital markets would support the Project.