A tender competition has awarded 20-year operating licences for the Talatui and Novoshirokinskoye gold properties in the Chita region of Siberian Russia to Highland Gold (HGM-L).
The successful tender to the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Natural Resources converts temporary licences Highland had previously held on the properties. Formal issuance is expected in a few weeks.
Talatui, near Highland’s newly-opened Darasun gold mine, is expected to feed the Darasun mill when in production. The Talatui near-surface resource is 1.3 million tonnes grading 7.7 grams gold per tonne. A further 2.9 million tonnes at a grade of 7 grams is slated for underground development and another 1.3 million tonnes, grading 5.8 grams per tonne, is inferred.
Highland will hold an 87% interest in Novoshirokinskoye, roughly 100 km from the Chinese border in the area east of Chita. There, a fault-controlled polymetallic deposit holds a reserve of 5.5 million tonnes grading 3.4 grams gold and 84.6 grams silver per tonne, with 3.08% lead and 1.37% zinc.
Highland also announced it had poured its first gold from Darasun, which was officially opened June 23. At full capacity Darasun is slated to produce 120,000 oz. gold annually; 2004 production will run to around 40,000 oz.