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Up-to-date resource and reserve estimates for Novo

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Highland Gold Mining Ltd has announced updated JORC-compliant mineral resource and ore reserve estimates for its Novoshirokinskoye (‘Novo’) mine, conducted by Wardell Armstrong International (WAI).

The new JORC resource audit follows a comprehensive resource re-evaluation under Russian GKZ standards, completed in 2014. As part of that exercise, Novo's cut-off grades were substantially lowered, resulting in lower average grades but higher tonnages and contained metal.

For the purposes of modelling, WAI calculated a lead metal equivalent grade for Novo's polymetallic ore in its report. Prices were based on a trailing three-year average as of January 2017, and actual recovery data was supplied by Highland Gold.

Using the same parameters to calculate gold equivalent, total proven and probable ore reserves as of 1 January 2017 were 1.9 million oz Au Eq., compared to 1.1 million oz estimated to remain from the prior reserve audit conducted in 2011 and reported in the company's 2016 annual report. Total ore reserve tonnage was 18 million t versus 3.4 million t previously reported.

The average gold equivalent grade was 3.3 g/t, compared to 9.8 g/t reported earlier and an average grade of 5.5 g/t processed at the Novo mill this year to date.

Novo's measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources as of 1 January 2017 were 3.1 million oz of gold equivalent versus 1.4 million oz Au Eq. reported earlier. The resource grade was 4.0 g/t Au Eq. (previously 7.6 g/t) and the total ore resource was 24.1 million t (previously 5.7 million t).


The new reserve data reinforces the rationale behind the company's ongoing project to expand Novo's mine and processing plant annual capacity to 1.3 million t of ore from its current run rate of 800 kt. Increased capacity will support Novo's overall production level as grades decline, while also helping to mitigate the expected upward pressure on total cash costs.

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