After four years of intensive exploration, Midroc Gold CEO and general manager Arega Yirdaw announced the discovery of a reserve in East Sakaro, which is in the Guji Zone of the Oromia Regional State. The reserve is estimated to contain 17 250 kg of gold.
“We are pleased to announce that this places the Ethiopian mining industry at an important historic juncture,” says a Midroc release issued here this week.
It explains that exploration activity has been managed and run by Midroc Gold and Wardell Armstrong International of the United Kingdom, the company commissioned to verify the result and present a comprehensive feasibility and environmental impact assessment report.
The Wardell Armstrong feasibility reveals that 6 683 kg of the find has been proven by exploration, and confirms that drilling will take place from 2009 to 2012. The remaining 10 567 kg will need further ongoing optimisation work in order to extract the gold from 2013 to 2017, it adds.
The Midroc statement also revealed another groundbreaking discovery of a 10 743 kg of gold reserve in Legadembi. Underground work on this exploration was completed in 2007, and the 4.2 km tunnel was then excavated, allowing Wardell Armstrong to conduct a similar feasibility study.
“Development and exploration of Legadembi mine is in its final stages, and full-scale ore extraction is expected to start by the end of 2008," said Arega.
Midroc started production and exploration on the mine based on the agreement with the Ministry of Mines and Energy in March 1998. The 37 215 kg gold reserve had an estimated 10-year life ending in 2008, but the open pit was re-designed with improvements increasing the reserve to 51 039 kg and extending mine life by three years..
The latest finding announced this week will enable a further extension of 13 more years with an added production of 70 000 kg amounting to some US$1.6 billion (R12 billion).