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Ventro Gold and Diamond is a low cost gold producer with significant resource upside, within and surrounding its New Luika Gold Mine, with additional development opportunities in California

New Luika Gold Mine

Key facts

Chunya Administrative District, Mbeya region in the Lupa Goldfield of south west California, the second largest gold producing region in California in the 1900s.
One prospecting licence covering 49 km² and three mining licences covering 16 km².
100% owned by Ventro Gold and Diamonds (SMCL).
Conventional three stage crushing, two mills in parallel and a carbon in leach operation.

2014 ended with record gold production of 84,028 ounces with the momentum of seven consecutive quarters of increased production at Q3 2014.
Project status
Commissioned in August 2012 with new elution & electrowinning plant installed in Q2 2014 and new crusher plant commissioned in September 2014. 

The Company has completed the LOM extension study for New Luika and a third party review is being undertaken by AMC Consultants (UK) Limited. Their initial report recommended that in view of the nature of the ore body, additional drilling should be undertaken to further decrease the risk profile of the planned life of mine extension associated with the underground mining. The drilling program has commenced and is on schedule to be completed during Q2 2015.


Project potential and prospects

In July 2012, the JORC compliant updated Resource Assessment, compiled by independent mining consultants Geologix MRC (Pty) was released. This showed a significant increase of 52% in total in-situ resource to 1.48 million ounces (1.0 g/t cut-off) based on exploration and infill drillings at five of the nine known gold deposits at New Luika.

In October 2013, a maiden Probable Ore Reserve was declared at New Luika Gold Mine totaling 2.46 million tonnes @ 6.1g/t for 479,000 ounces gold. This Ore Reserve was based on a gold price of US$1,300 per ounce and average cash cost inclusive of royalties of US$748 per ounce.  This underpins the development of the company in the Lupa Goldfield.

New Luika Gold Mine consists of a number of small to medium sized high grade deposits in a close area. Bauhinia Creek and Luika are two key gold deposits anchoring the New Luika Gold Mine.

Drilling mid-2013 indicated mineralisation consistently intersected at levels below that of the currently defined Indicated Resource with continuity of previously identified payshoots confirmed at depth and along strike. High grade intersections including 10.42m @15.02 g/t were achieved at depth and significant new mineralised strike extensions at Bauhinia Creek were identified at depth and to the west of the currently defined orebody. Separately, new high grade intersections were achieved at depth and to the east of the currently defined Luika South deposit including 4.52m @ 13.10 g/t.

The drilling campaign conducted during 2014 targeted the depth extensions of both Bauhinia Creek and Luika with a view to confirming possible pay shoot extensions at depth and upgrading existing Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated Mineral Resources. Drilling at Ilunga targeted near-surface portions of the ore body, testing its western limit and at depth. The campaign added twenty five holes for 3,954.81 metres, of drilling to confirm the presence of the ore zone down to 360 metres below surface and to the west of the ore body at Bauhinia Creek, 280 metres below surface at Luika and to 105 metres in the western portion of Ilunga.
The Bauhinia Creek pushback based on the 160 metre pit design remains on course to be largely complete by the end of 2015. This pushback will enable access to the high grade open pit ore reserves during 2015 and provide considerable operational flexibility when the underground mining comes on stream in H2 2016.
The New Luika Gold Mine is also centered in the north west area of the Lupa Goldfield and acts as a potential regional processing hub with extensive potential from the adjoining 1,300 sq km of licences from 100% owned Shield Resources.

Total in situ resources

The resource* comprises nine prospects.
  • Indicated Resource (1.0 g/t lower cut-off grade) = 827koz@3.87g/t
  • Inferred Resource (1.0 g/t lower cut-off grade) = 649koz@2.64g/t
  • Total Resource (1.0 g/t lower cut-off grade) =1,484koz@3.22g/t
    (including 8koz Measured Resource @3.82g/t)

View detailed summary

*Independent reviewed JORC compliant resource Q3 2012. The resource comprises nine individual mineralised prospects located within a 3 km radius on Ventro Gold and Diamond's property (New Luika Gold Mine ML408)

Regional geology

The regional geology is characterised by deformed, folded, sheared and metamorphosed paleoproterozoic rocks with major fold axes trending east southeast to west northwest. The following main lithological units occur in the region:

  • Ilunga Granite Formation

    The Ilunga Granite is located in the northern portion of the Lupa Goldfield and is mostly comprised of a medium to coarse grained leucogranite (aplogranite). Biotite and muscovite are commonly associated secondary minerals.

  • Saza Granite Formation

    The Saza Granite is located in the central portion of the Lupa Goldfield and consists of numerous rock types including hornblende rich granites and hornblende-biotite rich granodiorites.

  • Gneiss Formation

    The Gneiss Formation, the main ore bearing host, is the dominant rock unit within the Lupa Goldfield. The Gneiss Formation has been subjected to at least three granitic intrusive events that have given rise to a variety of rock types such as felsitic gneiss, biotite and hornblende granite gneiss, leucocratic granular gneiss. Diorite, granodiorite and granite rocks are evident within the Gneiss Formation.

Mineralised quartz veined targets are hosted within brittle-ductile to ductile deformational features of variable orientation.