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PanTerra Gold (ASX: PGI) is focused on the Las Lagunas gold/silver project in the Dominican Republic, which is expected to produce about 69,000 ounces of gold and 630,000 ounces of silver annually.
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PanTerra Gold Limited, based in Sydney Australia, is an emerging gold producer focussed on the development of gold and silver properties in Latin America hosting refractory ore which requires oxidation prior to metal recovery through standard carbon-in-leach ("CIL") processing.
Current activities are concentrated on the ramp-up of production from the Las Lagunas tailings retreatment project ("Las Lagunas Project") in the Dominican Republic, which had its first gold pour on 26 July 2012. The Las Lagunas project involves recovery of gold and silver from high grade refractory tailings from the Pueblo Viejo mine.
Based on pilot plant testwork, and following completion of the ramp-up phase of the process plant in Q1 2013, annual production is targetted at 69,000 oz gold and 630,000 oz silver.
PanTerra Gold utilises Xstrata Technology's patented Albion oxidation process which renders inert and non-soluble, toxic sulphur and arsenic contained in the refractory ore, thereby eliminating the threat of acid mine drainage, and providing a net benefit to the environment.
In addition to the Las Lagunas project, PanTerra Gold holds approximately 30,000ha of highly prospective exploration concessions in the Dominican Republic, and proposes to construct a commercial Albion/CIL plant in northern Peru to treat refractory concentrates from mines in the region. The Company expects to grow through a combination of new developments, acquisitions, and mergers.
Near term cash flow from the Las Lagunas project should provide equity for the exploration and development of mining prospects in the Dominican Republic, and an active exploration program of other open pit mining targets in Latin America.
The 8600ha La Paciencia concession in the Dominican Republic, which is along strike and underlain by the same geology as Barrick Gold Corp's 25 million oz Pueblo Viejo refractory gold deposit, is also likely to host refractory ore, and future exploration will be aimed at producing feed for the Las Lagunas process plant to extend its operational life.
Development of mines on any of PanTerra Gold's current Dominican exploration areas, other than La Pacienca, would probably result in the production of a copper/gold/silver concentrate, and would not utilise the Albion oxidation process.
PanTerra Gold has an experienced management team in place, led by its Executive Chairman, Brian Johnson, the founder and former Managing Director of Mount Gibson Iron Limited and Portman Mining Limited, and Chairman of Nevada Goldfields Inc., and East Africa Gold Mines Limited.
The Group's Managing Director, Andrew Pooler, who is based in Vancouver, is an experienced Mining Engineer having been employed in the mining industry for 28 years, with a significant period in Latin America at senior executive level with Amax Gold Corp, KGHM Ajax Inc., and Pan American Silver Corp.
Anthony Edgar, President of Dominican operations, has 30 years mining experience in the US and Latin America, and has held senior management positions with Pan American Silver, Newmont Mining Corporation and URS.
Las Lagunas, Dominican Republic
The 100% owned Las Lagunas project involves the reprocessing of high grade gold/silver refractory tailings from the Pueblo Viejo mine located approximately 105km to the north of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.
The tailings were derived from open pit operations at the mine between 1992 and 1999, and are impounded in a purpose-built valley-catchment dam. The mine is being redeveloped by Barrick Gold Corp at a cost in excess of US$3.5 billion.
The tailings were generated through the processing of refractory ores by Rosario Dominicana S.A, a State owned mining corporation. The refractory nature and metallurgical complexity of the ore resulted in poor recoveries (<30%) of gold and silver when treated by the conventional carbon-in-leach/cyanidation process plant then in place for oxide ore that had previously been mined, resulting in significant tonnages of refractory tailings with +3.5g/t gold being piped to the Las Lagunas dam.
PanTerra Gold's subsidiary, EnviroGold (Las Lagunas) Limited, was successful in an international tender and signed a Contract with the Dominican State in 2004 granting it the right to reprocess the tailings under a profit sharing arrangement with the Government.
Under this arrangement, EnviroGold (Las Lagunas) Limited will not pay income tax in the Dominican Republic, but will share 25% of its operating profit with the Government after the Company has recovered approximately US$65 million of direct investment in the country for plant and equipment.
The project involves the reclamation of the existing tailings by dredging, ultrafine grinding, concentration of gold bearing sulphides through flotation followed by sulphide oxidation using the Albion process, prior to extraction of gold and silver utilising standard carbon-in-leach cyanidation.
The project has a JORC Indicated Resource of 5.137mt of ore grading 3.8g/t gold and 38.6g/t silver.
Extensive feasibility studies were carried out in 2005-2007 followed by detailed engineering of the Albion/CIL plant which will process 800,000tpa of tailings per annum for 6.5 years. Based on pilot plant test work, PanTerra Gold anticipates annual production of 69,000 oz Au and 630,000 oz Ag. The first gold pour was achieved late July 2012.
Since signing the agreement with the Dominican State, the PanTerra Gold Group has spent approximately US$100 million on the project, including resource definition, metallurgical testwork, pilot plant studies, feasibility studies, engineering, siteworks, procurement of mechanical and electrical equipment, plant construction, project management, administration, holding costs, and acquisition of a minority interest.
The completed process plant is in its final stage of ramp-up at its targetted throughput of 100tph, and following a period of steady state operation, production costs of approximately US$350 per oz Au equivalent are anticipated.
The project has been funded by a US$37.5 million loan from Macquarie Bank Limited, and facilities totalling US$7.5 million from BanReservas (Dominican Republic Government-owned Bank).
Macquarie Bank also paid the PanTerra Gold Group US$7.5 million to purchase a 3% gold royalty for the life of the project, which was advanced to the development.
The Las Lagunas project is situated within a significant mineralised belt and the Company's Albion/CIL plant could provide treatment opportunities for refractory gold properties in the region. PanTerra Gold's La Paciencia prospect (8600 ha concession 10 km east of Barrick's 25 million oz refractory gold deposit at Pueblo Viejo), may provide feed to the Las Lagunas plant in the future.
To see pictures of the project please CLICK HERE
PanTerra Gold completed the acquisiton of Vancouver based Novus Gold Corp (TSX-V: "NOV") in April 2012, by the issue of 18,412,632 PGI shares to Novus Gold shareholders (1 for 3).
As a result, PanTerra Gold acquired 100% ownership of two exploration concessions in the Dominican Republic held by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Novus Gold: La Yagua and La Paciencia. Both of these properties are currently being transferred to a subsidiary, PanTerra Gold (Dominicana) S.A., after which Novus Gold will be liquidated.
The 9900ha concession adjoins those hosting Perilya's Cerro de Maimon copper-gold mine. The first identified exploration target is along strike from the mine and a rock sampling program in 2009 produced results ranging from 0.5% to 22.0 % Cu over a 3km length.
Within the concession, elevated copper, gold, and silver results from soil geochemistry, and rock and stream sampling, have identified high grade mineralised zones with almost property-wide potential.
The best grab sample to date resulted in an assay of 18% Cu, 13g/t Au, and 29g/t Ag.
A 20 hole drilling program of the first target ie expected to commence in Q3 2013 following geophysuical surveys to establish drilling locations.
The 8600ha concession is located 10km east and along strike from the Pueblo Viejo gold deposit (+25 million oz) being developed by Barrick/Goldcorp, and is underlain by the same geology in the Los Ranchos formation as Pueblo Viejo.
Prospecting to date has discovered elevated gold values along structural lineaments and initial exploration in 2013 will focus on soil sampling and geophysics to identify drill targets. Any resource is likely to be predominantly refractory and amenable to treatment through PanTerra Gold's Las Lagunas process plant.
PanTerra Gold has applied for a 10,000ha copper/gold exploration licence near Bahoruco in south-west Dominican Republic with copper and gold mineralisation evident over a length of 5km.
Soil and stream sampling will be undertaken in 2013 following approval of the application.
Brian Johnson - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Mr Johnson is a civil engineering graduate from the University of Western Australia with extensive experience in the construction and mining industries in Australia, South East Asia and North America. Mr Johnson has been instrumental in establishing a number of successful public companies including Nevada Goldfields Limited, Austral Coal Limited, and both Portman Mining Limited and Mount Gibson Iron Limited in the iron ore industry. His particular skills lie in successfully taking a company from its conceptual stage, through Stock Exchange listing, to profitable operations, and substantially increasing its market capitalisation.
James Tyers – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mr Tyers has a BAppSci in Mineral Exploration and Mine Geology from Western Australian School of Mines, an MBA from the University of Western Australia, a Western Australian Quarry Managers Certificate of Competency and is a member of the AusIMM. He has 20 years experience in the mining industry with the last 10 years involving senior management roles in both gold and iron ore operations. Mr Tyers is responsible for development and operation of projects in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Peru.
Ugo Cario – NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mr Cario holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and has over 28 years experience in the Australian mining industry. He was a Director and Chief Executive Officer of Rocklands Richfield Limited for over four years, and Managing Director of Austral Coal Limited for over eight years. Prior to Austral Coal, Mr Cario held a number of senior positions with the Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia Group. He is also a former Director of the Port Kembla Coal Terminal, the New South Wales Joint Coal Board, and was 2004 Interim Chairman of the New South Wales Minerals Council.
Angela Pankhurst-NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ms Pankhurst MAICD holds a Bachelor of Business degree and has over 10 years’ experience as an executive and non-executive director primarily in the mining industry. She was CFO and then Finance Director of PanTerra Gold from prior to its acquisition of the Las Lagunas Project until March 2009 and continued as a non-executive Director until June 2011, and was reappointed to the Board in April 2012. Ms Pankhurst has been a seniorexecutive for Listed and unlisted companies with projects in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Vietnam and Australia. She was Managing Director of Central Asia Resources Limited during the development of its first gold mine and processing facility.
Robert McMorran - Company Secretary (Canada)
Pamela Bardsley–LEGAL COUNSEL AND COMPANY SECRETARY
Ms Bardsley joined PanTerra Gold in April 2008 as its in house Legal Counsel. She is a lawyer with over 16 years experience in general commercial, and banking and finance industries. She also has over nine years experience in company secretary roles including four years as Company Secretary for National Roads and Motorists Association Limited. Ms Bardsley holds a Dip Law (SAB) and Master of Laws from UTS, Sydney.
Tracey Aitkin–CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Ms Aitkin is a CPA qualified accountant, with a Bachelor of Business from Charles Sturt University in NSW. She has over 22 years experience in management and financial accounting roles across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, retail, transport and agriculture, and has also owned and operated small businesses in the retail and service sectors.
Dean Young–MANAGER PROCESS ENGINEERING
Mr Young holds a BSc in Extractive Metallurgy from Murdoch University in Western Australia. He has been employed by Fluor Australia and Intermet Engineering over a six year period as a process engineer on design, construction, commissioning and operation of gold plants in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Bolivia and Spain. Mr Young is responsible for metallurgical testwork, feasibility studies, supervision of engineering consultants, and plant commissioning.
Jose Sena-DIRECTOR, ENVIROGOLD (LAS LAGUNAS) LIMITED
Mr Sena qualified as a Mining Engineer at the University of Arizona and is in charge of Government and community relations, and environmental compliance for the Las Lagunas project. During the years 1984 to 1992, he held senior managerial positions at the Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic, and was General Manager from 1989 to 1992. He spent a number of years with Billiton as a senior mining engineer in Cuba, Indonesia and Australia. Mr Sena is fluent in Spanish and English and is a resident of Santo Domingo.
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