Minco secures another Chinese gold deposit

Vancouver — An agreement with several Chinese agencies gives Minco Mining & Metals (MMM-T) the right to earn up to a 51% interest in the Changkeng gold deposit in Guandong province.

Local geologists discovered the “Carlin-style” deposit in 1990 while following up geochemical anomalies found in a previous program. Exploration over the next five years outlined a preliminary resource of 3.8 million tonnes grading 7.92 grams gold per tonne in two zones, over an 800-metre strike length. More than 81% of the mineralization is reported to be free gold.

Local miners have extracted some of the near-surface gold, leaving a net resource of 3.4 million tonnes grading 7.92 grams per tonne, or about 870,000 contained ounces. The local government has since stopped the illegal mining activities.

The Chinese resource estimate was reviewed by Minco’s geologist and by an independent “qualified person,” and was found to meet CIM guidelines for an inferred resource.

The gold zones are associated with a low-angle fault zone along an unconformable contact between Lower Carboniferous limestones and Triassic mudstones and siltstones. The zones extend from surface to about 250 metres in depth. The larger zone ranges in width from 1 to 39 metres, while the smaller one ranges from 1 to 10.7 metres.

Trenching and diamond drilling will attempt to expand existing resources, which remain open in several directions. Once the program is completed, an independent consultant will prepare a new resource estimate, to be used as the basis for a feasibility study.

Minco signed a 30-year joint-venture agreement with three Chinese agencies to explore, develop and mine the project. The company will spend $16.6 million on the project in return for its 51% equity interest.

The property is 45 km west of the city of Guangzhou and accessible by road. Power and water sources are nearby.

Minco says exploring Changkeng is its “top priority” this year.

The company has other properties in China, including “Carlin-type” gold projects in the Qinling gold triangle. This historic, yet still emerging, gold district in the country’s central region covers a 1,000-km-long sedimentary belt that encompasses parts of Gansu, Shaanx and Sichuan provinces.

Among the most advanced of Minco’s projects is the Yangshan gold project, which includes the Yangshan Anba deposit, previously explored by Chinese geologists. At last report, resources were estimated at 16.1 million tonnes grading 5.64 grams gold per tonne, or 2.9 million oz.

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