Chaarat Gold Holdings Limited (LON:CGH) has completed its 2017 exploration programme at Tulkubash with 60% more metres drilled than originally expected.
As a result, the indicative length of the proposed open pit has doubled to 2,200 metres as the current Tulkubash pit now connects with other previously drilled satellite pits.
The oxide mineralisation is open to the northeast with potential continuity for at least three kilometres, Chaarat added. There is also further potential along strike.
A resource update is underway and will form the basis of the reserves estimate in the feasibility study due for completion in the first quarter of next year.
Robert Benbow, chief executive, said: “We are increasingly confident that the mineralisation extends for at least three kilometres. Mineralisation has been extended to the south, new hanging wall lodes in the main pit area have been developed and the gold-bearing lodes in the satellite pit area have been expanded.
“Based on these results, the anticipated increase in the reserve base (and hence the life of mine) as well as a reduction in pre-stripping are expected to impact positively on the economics of the Tulkubash Project. “
Work has now started on the design of the heap leach pad, Benbow added.
Currently, the Chaarat project boasts a gold resource of over 7 mln ounces of which Tulkubash accounts for just over 800,000oz.
The 2017 programme amounted to 17,420 metres drilled in 2017 season against a planned 11,000m, or 30% of the total drilling area in the Tulkubash Zone.