MOROBE Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) has announced plans to open two news mines.
These mines will be separate from their operations at Hidden Valley and will cater for their explorations at Golpu and other regional work, MMJV general manager exploration Bernard Kavanamur said.
At Golpu, the company is currently doing conceptual studies on the method of mining and hopes to take advantage of the current increase in metal prices to tap into pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.
“We’re hoping it would be another stand alone mine … we’re looking at least two mines.
“There is also the other objective of finding another stand alone mine from the regional work we’re doing, aside from Hidden Valley and Wafi,” Mr Kavanamur said.
At Hidden Valley, the company aims to increase the mine’s 10-year life, support the expansion through additional resources and conversion to reserves and to further discover high-grade ore zones to supplement the ore feed.
At Wafi, the company hopes to unlock the value of the existing mineral reserves, which stands at around 10 million ounces of gold.
It also hoped to discover new copper and gold reserves through exploration and to conduct studies to support a business case for the establishment of a new mine.
MMJV’s operations in the Morobe province cover over 3000sqkm, which include the mining lease for Hidden Valley and 13 exploration licences.
With a K47.9 million exploration budget, MMJVs has been able to increase its resource base between six and seven million ounces of gold in 2002 to 15.6 million ounces at the end of last year.
The team also discovered copper and traces of silver.
MMJV also drilled 39,000m and carried out 12,000 surface samples within the region last year and discovered an emerging mineral district which was hosting Wafi, Meapili and Mt Gon.
“At Wafi, we have about 10 million ounces of gold contained, 41 billion ounces of copper and 47 billion pounds of molybdenum.
“There are more than 83 million ounces of silver at Hidden Valley … with metal prices rising and holding steady, there is a very positive outlook for us,” Mr Kavanamur said.
“It is all positive for the mine at the moment … our joint venture partners have a strong belief in the potential of the area and will put in the money to do the exploration to turn the Morobe into a mineral-rich province,” he said.