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 African Business Network 155
25 million tonnes (mt) based on JORC 2004 compliance. The current grade reaches 3% but Forrester believes that number has been underestimated.
“That grade is mainly based on reverse circulation drilling,” Forrester notes. “Every time we drilled the same intersections with diamond core drilling we got an average grade increment of close to 60%.”
Resourceful drilling
Mount Burgess’ forthcoming drilling programme will aim to consolidate the results it is experiencing with diamond
core drilling. Forrester’s next step at the Kihabe project is to concentrate on the
Nxuu resource and press ahead with diamond core drilling so management can
be assured of what the ultimate grade of the resource will be. If the grade increases by
the aforementioned 60% then, as Forrester asserts, it will substantially bene t the economics of the whole project. Secondly, the drilling will enable Mount Burgess to de ne the resource in a measured and indicated category compliant with the 2012 JORC code.
“Then there will be no problem with  nancing,” highlights Forrester. “Once we’ve got it into that measured and indicated category it will enable us to move forward and commence a feasibility on the project and we can only start a feasibility study if we can show we can convert those resources into reserves. We have to be in the measured and indicated category to do that.”
The Nxuu resource will take priority as Mount Burgess treads the path to production. Nxuu is a shallow, basin shape resource with a maximum depth of mineralisation at just
60 metres. In addition the ore is completely oxidised for both lead and zinc. A process has already been devised to produce zinc metal on site through solvent extraction and electro-winning.
“It’s also looking likely with the next technology available that we will be able to produce lead metal on site. If we can produce those metals on site it is going to eliminate the costs of transporting concentrate from
a country that doesn’t have a port,” explains Forrester.
Nxuu’s low cost nature is going to remove
a signi cant barrier to reaching commercial production. Mount Burgess can take this project forward based on this deposit without having to raise large sums of capital for development from the  nancial markets. The combination of potential for open pit mining, not having to transport double the amount
of raw material by processing on site, the low strip ratio and a production rate of around 750,000 tonnes per year (tpa) results in the project being low cost in capital expenditure and in production costs.
“It’s not going to be of high capital expenditure, probably in the region of US$50 million for the whole project,” predicts Forrester.
“Being that shallow, being a shallow plate

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