HomeExplorationBlanket gold mine mineral resource keeps growing

Blanket gold mine mineral resource keeps growing

The latest resource upgrade by gold producer Caledonia Mining Corporation marks the seventh successive year of sustained resource growth at Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe.

Blanket gold mine’s resources have grown by approximately 86% since 2011 despite having mined over 300 000 oz over this period. Blanket mine’s resources have increased both in terms of measured and indicated as well as inferred resources.

Based on development and diamond core drilling that has been completed up to the end of July 2018 and combined with improvements to the geological model, the total measured and indicated gold ounces at Blanket gold mine have increased by 13% from 714 000 oz, in August 2017, to 805 000 oz, as at July 2018.

Total measured and indicated resources now stand at 6.74 Mt at a grade of 3.72 g/t.

Meanwhile, the inferred gold resources at Blanket have been increased by 9% from 887 000 oz, in August 2017, to 963 000 oz, as at July 2018. Total inferred resources now stand at 6.63 Mt at a grade of 4.52g/t.

The upgrade has resulted in a modest decline in the average grade of the resources in the indicated and inferred categories as a result of additional infill drilling data, improvements in the definition of the geological models, additional lower grade resources in peripheral areas, and upward movements of resources between categories. However, the average resource grade remains well above the current mill feed grade of 3.3g/t. Caledonia expects the mined grade to trend upwards over time as higher-grade resources are accessed at depth.

The increase in measured and indicated resources has increased the proven reserves and indicated resources that may be used in the life of mine plan by 10% from 4.52 Mt used for the technical report published in December 2017, to 4.98 Mt currently.

“The latest resource upgrade is yet another positive step in our journey as we invest for the long term future of Blanket mine,” says Caledonia Mining Corporation CEO Steve Curtis, adding that the upgrade takes the total resource endowment at the mine to almost 1.8 Moz.

“The increase in the measured and indicated resource base of 13% is good news for the longer term life of mine plan at Blanket and underscores the overall confidence level in Blanket’s resources which is underpinned by the planned increases in cashflow and production as the investment in our Central Shaft comes to an end.

“Furthermore, the 9% increase in the inferred resources at depth to 963 000 oz shows the longer term potential of Blanket and gives us full confidence that the current Central Shaft project will set the mine up for many years into the future,” Curtis notes, adding that the life of mine will be further supplemented by resource additions and upgrades as a result of the increased exploration activity at Blanket gold mine in the future.

Chantelle Kotze
Chantelle Kotze is a Johannesburg-based media professional. She is a contributor at Mining Review Africa (Clarion Events - Africa) and has created content for the media brand over the past 6 years.