Moneta Porcupine Mines has begun a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the South West deposit at the company’s Golden Highway Project, 110 kilometres east of Timmins.
In an April 8 news release, the Toronto-based exploration company said it had contracted Micon International Ltd. to complete the study, which is expected to be completed later this year.
Moneta said the PEA would review several development scenarios based around a November 2019 resource update.
The updated resource resulted in a 58 per cent increase to 472,000 ounces within the indicated category contained within 3.24 million tonnes at a grade of 4.53 grams per tonne gold, and a 40 per cent increase to 1,056,500 gold ounces in the inferred category contained within 7.30 million tonnes at a grade of 4.37 grams per tonne gold, assuming underground extraction using a 3.00 grams per tonnes gold cutoff grade.
“We will continue the new resource expansion work; however, at a slightly slower pace due to the physical distancing of employees,” said Moneta’s CEO and chief geologist, Gary O’Connor, in the release.
“A PEA study has been commenced by Micon on the South West deposit and will continue as planned. Moneta is fully funded for its plans through 2020 and into 2021.”
The company said in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had adopted a “behave like you are infected" policy, and is “follow(ing) all guidance provided by the relevant authorities” in protecting its employees and contractors.
Its Timmins office has been closed and employees are working at home.
Moneta's 2019/2020 winter drill program is now complete and drill rigs are being demobilized, the company said.
The winter drill program tested resource extensions of the Windjammer South, West Block, and 55 deposits, and intersecting new mineralization at the Westaway and Halfway targets.
The company said it would post drill results as they become available, and results would be used for new resource updates for the Windjammer South, South West and 55 deposits, and an initial mineral resource estimate at Westaway.
Resource expansion work, including logging and assaying will continue, but at a reduced level of activity in respect of social isolation practices, Moneta said.