Unigold upgrades resource, launches $5M exploration program at Candelones

Drillers at Unigold's Neita gold property in the Dominican Republic. Credit: UnigoldDrillers at Unigold's Nieta gold property in the Dominican Republic. Credit: Unigold.

Unigold (TSXV: UGD) has announced an updated mineral resource estimate for the Candelones oxide project on the company’s flagship Neita concession, a 226-sq.-km land package located in the province of Djabon in the Dominican Republic, 220 km northwest of the capital Santo Domingo.

The pit constrained oxide mineral resource now stands at measured and indicated resources of 3.43 million tonnes grading 0.84 gram gold per tonne for 92,000 contained oz. gold. Inferred resources add 1.61 million tonnes grading 0.74 gram gold for 38,000 oz. gold.

The company said the updated estimate represents an 80% conversion of oxide resources from the inferred to measured and indicated categories and an increase of 15% in mineral resources, based on a metallurgical recovery rate of 90%.

Drilling at Unigold's Candelones Extension, part of its Neita concession. Source: Unigold

Drilling at Unigold’s Candelones Extension, part of its Neita concession. Credit: Unigold.

“One of the key objectives for our initial 2020 exploration program was to upgrade a significant portion of the inferred oxide resource to the measured and indicated classification in preparation for completing economic studies,” Joe Hamilton, the company chairman and CEO, said in a press release.

“The work we completed over the past year has successfully converted over 80% of the historic oxide resource to the measured and indicated classification, in addition to adding almost 10% more ounces to the global oxide resource,” he added.

The company said that exploration efforts would focus on the Main, Extension, and Connector deposits, a series of early Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide and disseminated deposits overprinted by epithermal feeders in acid volcaniclastic rocks, on the Candolones project.

Before the suspension of operations in March due to the impacts of Covid-19, the company had completed 48 diamond drill holes covering 10,087 metres.

The highlights include drill hole 19-56, which intersected 23 metres grading 1.27 grams per tonne starting at a depth of 23 metres on the Connector deposit, and hole 19-148, which cut 30 metres grading 1.33 grams gold from surface on the Main deposit.

In a July 15 press release, the company announced that its board of directors had approved $5 million for exploration work from July to year-end. The company said the budget includes 15,000-20,000 metres of drilling at an estimated cost of $1.8 million.

The drilling, it said, would focus on expanding targets B and C, both of which are interpreted as late-stage, epithermal feeder systems, with the potential for gold recoveries over 85% using gravity-float-leach circuits.

By year-end, it also plans to begin drilling at the Candelones Gap, an 800-1000 metre gap between the Main and Extension deposits to the east.

Drilling, the company reported, has recommenced at the project.

“Our intent is to continue working towards derisking the oxide resource through additional metallurgical testing and preliminary engineering studies, with the objective of establishing a maiden reserve estimate for the oxide mineralization in 2021,” Hamilton said.

The company also said that it expects to update the sulphide resource estimate using high-grade intercepts from 2015 to 2020, after the current 15,000-meter drill program has been completed.

At press time in Toronto, Unigold was trading at 46¢ per share within a 52-week trading range of 11¢ and 68¢. The company has 125 million common shares outstanding for a $57.5-million market capitalization.

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