A bankable feasibility study is under way to consider the merits of the Borborema project, including an increased processing target of 4 million tonnes per annum of gold for an estimated 10 year mine life.
The Crusader Resources project in the Serido area of the Borborema province in north eastern Brazil comprises three mining leases covering 85 square kilometres, as well as a freehold title to the property covering the main prospect area.
The 4mpta of ore being considered in the BFS is an increase on the 3mtpa investigated in the pre-feasibility study, reflecting the increasing size of the project’s resource, as well as the company’s confidence in it. Borborema contains an estimated 2.31
million ounces of gold, based on an indicated and inferred mineral resource of 68mt grading 1.06 grams per tonne of gold, using a 0.5g/t cut-off grade.
“Borborema has the potential to be a company maker,” Crusader managing director Rob Smakma said in a statement. “We have advanced rapidly through the exploration and resource definition phase and are taking large strides towards becoming a
significant gold producer. The pre-feasibility study on Borborema produced very positive results and we are expecting similarly positive results from the bankable feasibility study due to be finished later this year.” The PFS was completed in September
2011, confirming a robustly economic project. The study was based on an open-cut operation with a standard beneficiation circuit that would produce up to 180,000 ounces of gold per annum. Other results of the PFS included: a strip ratio for the life of the mine of 4.23 to 1; metallurgical recovery of 96 per cent; capital expense of US$169 million; and an operating expense of US$558 per ounce.
Crusader has completed an additional 17,000m of drilling at the project since September, resulting in the resource upgrade to its current level; the company reported that the data from the additional drilling would be taken into consideration for the BFS. Crusader reported that the BFS would also involve pit optimisation and detailed pit design, production schedule, detailed metallurgical test work, and basic engineering design including firm quotes for all key equipment and materials for the
mine, plant and associated infrastructure. The ore process design will include flow sheets, mass and water balance assumptions, project criteria, technical specifications and equipment lists for all areas of the mine.
These include plant and infrastructure, including the mine fleet, waste disposal, earthworks and drainage, concrete, metallic structures, piping and systems, electrical and instrumentation, support facilities, telecommunications, power supply, water supply and tailings disposal.
Crusader reported that it expected to release a further resource upgrade for Borborema in 2012, as it continues its accelerated drilling program.
By Rachel Seeley