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Vantage Goldfields

Youtube Corporate video

Corporate Video: Operations

Bonnie Dundee Prospect PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Phase 1 of the exploration program at Bonnie Dundee, which is located adjacent to the dormant Worcester Mine, was completed during 2012. The objective of this field prospecting exercise was to establish continuity of known mineralized zones and, hence, determine whether these could potentially provide critical mass for possible underground operations at the Worcester Project.

Prospecting activities resulted in a preliminary mineral resource of 510,000t @ 3.47g/t (56,700 oz) being delineated, where mineralized shears display a strong geophysical signature. Limited diamond drilling and sampling of shallow, underground, prospect adits have been sufficiently indicative of shear-hosted gold mineralization to warrant further investigation. A further phase of exploration will be undertaken in due course.

 
Worcester Project PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Worcester Mine Project

A pre-feasibility study was completed on the Worcester Project to determine the economic viability of mining the Mineral Resources delineated to date below the old mine workings.
The study investigated the viability of applying low cost, bulk mining methods to the Indicated Mineral Resources situated between 210m and 560m below surface. The steeply dipping Worcester mineralised zone, which contains free-milling gold, is amenable to mechanised mining by means of continuous retreat open-stoping.  

Based on the mine design, and after applying appropriate economic and modifying factors, an Ore Reserve of some 1.4 million tonnes at a grade of 3.01 g/t (equivalent to 133,000 oz) can be mined over 10 years at a production rate of 150,000 tonnes per year.

Although results of the pre-feasibility study indicate that the project has an IRR of 24%, the proposed mining operation is not regarded as being sufficiently robust to justify a more detailed engineering study at this stage. Instead, the exploration program in and around the Worcester Project area continues to concentrate on delineating additional Mineral Resources in an attempt to provide economies of scale to the project.

 
Central Metallurgical Complex (“CMC”): PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Central Metallurgical Complex (“CMC”)

The CMC, which is situated within the Barbrook Mines Complex, is the Company’s central metallurgical processing facility. It is located approximately 6km by road from the Lily Mine.

The CMC currently has two processing circuits, each treating different types of ore. Free-milling ore from the Lily Mine is processed through a conventional crushing and milling section followed by a JET-LEACH carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit. Gold from the carbon elution generation circuits is recovered by electro-winning and smelting.

A parallel processing circuit treats refractory ore from the Taylors Mine. In this circuit, ore is separately crushed and milled, and the mill overflow is passed through a cyclone and a bank of flotation cells where float concentrate is produced. Following cancellation of the concentrate Off Take Agreement, Taylors Mine concentrates are now being leached directly in CIL leaching tanks as part of the Taylors processing circuit, with bullion being produced on site after electro-winning and smelting.

The circuit processing the Lily Mine’s ore is capable of treating approximately 32,000 run-of-mine tonnes per month, and the circuit processing the Taylors Mine ore has a treatment capacity of 9,500 run-of-mine tonnes per month. In due course, the ‘footprint’ of the CMC will be expanded to accommodate the planned increase in production from the Barbrook Stage 2 expansion.

Metallurgical test work on the various gold deposits at Barbrook is on-going with the objective of determining the most appropriate processing method for treating the ore reserve material to be mined in the production expansion plan.


 

 
Regional Exploration PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The Company’s exploration program is designed to provide a “pipe-line” of projects at various stages of investigation that will meet the Company’s strategic objective of increasing its gold production output to 90,000 ounces per annum, or more.

Exploration activities have been concentrated on prospects considered to have the best short-term potential for economic development. The Company’s strategy is to adopt an approach which focuses on the highest probabilities of discovery in the three main areas of activity, being (1) the Lomshiyo Valley containing the Lily Mine and Barbrook Mines Complex, (2) the Sheba Hills, containing the Bonanza Project and (3) the Jamestown Schist Belt containing the Worcester Project.

Priority is placed on “brownfields” projects which are sites of known gold mineralization close to existing infrastructure or current mining operations, and which already contain defined Mineral Resources. Regional exploration is also being conducted in highly prospective “greenfields” prospects located on extensions of known mineralized structures.

Vantage has numerous projects and, for many of these, there are data bases of geological and sampling information derived from surface and/or underground excavations and surface and/or underground drilling. Re-evaluation of this information has led to the prioritization of projects warranting scoping and/or feasibility studies.

Most of the funds allocated to exploration since listing were spent on drilling at three of the Company’s targeted project sites, all located in close proximity to active or dormant mines (Lily, Barbrook and Worcester). In addition, a high resolution, airborne magnetic and radiometric survey was completed over the bulk of the ground covered by Vantage’s Prospecting Rights.

During 2012, consultants ASVI Technical Services Group (“ASVI”) were commissioned to analyse the large data base of regional exploration information (geological, geochemical and geophysical) within the context of the results of the airborne survey. In addition to providing an improved structural geological map of the goldfield, ASVI’s report included details of a large number of prioritised targets for follow-up exploration. A field exploration program consisting of ground-based geophysical and geochemical surveys within the Company’s Prospecting Rights, concentrated initially on anomalies identified by ASVI in the Sheba Hills and Jamestown Schist Belt areas.

Due to austerity measures introduced by the Company following the decline in gold prices during 2013, field exploration activities were reduced in all of the project areas. These will, however, be resumed once sufficient funding becomes available to complete the next phases of prospecting in the principal priority areas.

 

 

 
Mining Operations PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The location of the Group’s current mining operations is illustrated in plan below:

The Company currently produces gold from its Lily and Barbrook Mines, where there has been a steady increase in collective gold production since its listing.

This is despite setbacks in the production ramp-up caused by a 7 week, unprotected labour strike four months after listing and a major collapse of an underground stabilising pillar at the Lily Mine late in 2012, causing a temporary dilution of ore grade and the resultant decline in gold production. During 2013, gold production increased markedly with rising ore grades while costs declined.

The following graphs illustrate the Group’s quarterly production achievements:


 

 
Resources and Reserves PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (100% basis)

The Group’s mineral resources are sufficient to meet its planned production growth. The following graph illustrates the growth in the various categories of mineral resources since the Company was founded:

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The following table lists the Group’s Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves as at end December 2012;

The principal Competent Persons responsible for reporting the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve information are Mr S Mawson, Mineral Resource Management Consultant, who is a member of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (“SACNASP”), Mr M Begg, General Manager, who is a member of the Geological Society of South Africa (“GSSA”) and SACNASP and Dr W Stear, Executive Director, who is a fellow of the AusIMM. The GSSA is a Recognised Overseas Professional Organisation" (“ROPO”). Mr Mawson is responsible for the Mineral Resource modelling.

Mr Begg and Dr Stear are responsible for the Mineral Resource reporting. All three persons are full time employees of Vantage. The Competent Person responsible for the Independent Audit of the Mineral Resource is Professor R C A Minnitt, JCI Professor of Mineral Resources and Reserves, School of Mining Engineering, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Professor Minnitt is a fellow of the AusIMM. All four persons have sufficient relevant experience to qualify as Competent Persons as defined in the 2004 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”.

 

 
Lily Mine PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The Lily Mine began as an oxide open pit operation in 2000 which was later developed as a shallow, underground operation.

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Lily West Prospect PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Magnetic anomalies along the western extension of the Lily Fault and parallel shear zones were tested by trenching and selected boreholes drilled by reverse circulation.

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Bonanza Prospect PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The dormant Bonanza Mine, which is adjacent to the prolific Sheba Mine, an operation that has been producing continuously since 1884, is being re-investigated for strike and depth extensions of the known ore body.

A field exploration program has commenced with the objective of testing for further ore bodies possibly associated with prominent geophysical anomalies occurring along the Sheba Fault and other subsidiary structures controlling gold mineralization in that area of the Sheba Hills.

 

 
Greenfields Prospects PDF  | Print |  E-mail

In July 2010, the Company completed a high resolution magnetic and radiometric aerial survey over portions of Vantage’s mineral rights.

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Crown Project PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Results of a geological modeling exercise of the Mineral Resources at the Crown Prospect, located within the Barbrook Mines Complex, indicated the potential to bulk mine an array of mineralized shears, both in the oxidised zone and from underground.

A scoping study was completed in 2011, which evaluated the viability of open pit mining of oxides and processing them on site. The study was based on the concept of delineating sufficient oxide ore to justify installing a mobile gravity concentrator. This necessitated a reverse circulation (RC) infill drilling program as well as metallurgical test work to ascertain whether the ore is amenable to gravity concentration.

A total of 4051 meters in nineteen RC boreholes were drilled into the area above 4 Level, which is approximately 150m below surface. The objective of the drilling program was to define the oxide/sulphide interface and to enhance the definition of the potentially bulk mineable Mineral Resources.

After incorporating the RC drilling results into the existing drill core sampling data base, a revised block model was completed for the area above 4 level, which indicated an upgrading of the Mineral Resources to 1.777 Mt @ 2.65 g/t or 151,000 oz (at a 1.0 g/t cut-off). These Mineral Resources include oxide, transitional zone and sulphide material. They are in addition to the Mineral Resources previously defined for conventional, selective mining below 4 level. Collectively, the total Mineral Resources at Crown amount to 2.12 Mt @ 3.14g/t.

Unfortunately, the metallurgical results were disappointing in that the concentrating test work indicated that it is not feasible to process the oxide portion of the Mineral Resources using a mobile gravity concentrating plant. Consequently, the scoping study has shown that it is not economically viability to treat only oxide material by open mining methods using a processing option which does not require significant capital expenditure. Other alternatives for mining the sulphide material from underground and treating it at the Central Metallurgical Complex will be investigated during the Barbrook Stage 2 investigations.