Sandspring Resources (SSP-V) put considerably more tonnage into its indicated resource category, showing that its Toroparu gold-copper deposit in Guyana is shaping into a significant project.
The company had been drilling over the past year with an eye toward optimizing its open pit shell model, and now says such a pit shell now has an indicated resource of 105 million tonnes of ore grading 0.86 grams gold and 0.12% copper for 2.89 million oz. of gold and 288 million lbs. of copper or 3.69 million gold-equivalent ounces. The cutoff grade used was 0.4 grams gold.
The deposit now has an additional inferred mineral resource of 38.8 million tonnes grading 0.72 grams gold and 0.08% copper for 895,000 oz. gold and 66 million lbs of copper or 1.08 million gold-equivalent ounces.
Sandspring also says that its recent drilling revealed evidence of a near surface, higher grade section of the deposit that could serve as a starter pit. That higher grade area sits within the indicated resource shell and includes roughly 38 million tonnes grading
1.47 gold equivalent ounces.
The deposit has so far been defined over a strike length of 800 metres and to a vertical depth of 400 metres and remains open in all directions.
The updated estimate, which boosts indicated resource by 1.7 million gold equivalent ounces, serves as a benchmark for the company which only began trading on the TSX Venture exchange in December of last year.
“The Company now has a sufficiently robust, potentially open-pittable resource to consider advancing the Toroparu Project through to feasibility,” Abraham Drost Sandspring’s president said in a statement.
Its next move will be to dive into a preliminary economic assessment of the deposit, focusing on the economics of a phased mining approach that mines a starter pit.
The original resource estimate – done back in October of 2008 — was based on 29 diamond drill holes, totaling 9,493 metres and 16 mineralized trenches.
That estimate outlined an indicated resource of 45.6 million tonnes grading 0.93 grams gold and 0.16% copper for 1.99 million gold equivalent ounces. It also outlined an inferred resource of 36.8 million tonnes grading 0.82 grams gold and 0.13% copper for 1.3 million gold equivalent ounces.
The updated mineral resource estimate considered an additional 34 diamond drill holes totaling 17,604 metres. A two year trailing average on the metal prices was used for the estimate which put gold at US$955 per oz. and copper at US$2.95 per lb.
In Toronto on June 3 the company’s shares were flat at $1.29 on 137,000 shares traded.