26/03/2008 - 14:15

Focus Minerals annouces substantial upgrade

26/03/2008 - 14:15


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Exploration and development group, Focus Minerals Ltd has announced a substantial resource upgrade for its Countess Resource gold deposit in Coolgardie.

Exploration and development group, Focus Minerals Ltd has announced a substantial resource upgrade for its Countess Resource gold deposit in Coolgardie.

Focus is the largest landholder in the Coolgardie Gold Belt and plans to become a significant gold and nickel producer in the Coolgardie-Kalgoorlie-Widgiemooltha region of Western Australia.

Its maiden gold production due to commence at Perseverance in April 2008

The company holds the mineral rights to more than 210sq km of tenements including Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources exceeding 1.65 million ounces of gold as well as the 1.2mtpa Three Mile Hill processing plant.

Focus Minerals is also fast tracking development of its wholly-owned Nepean Nickel Project (current estimated resource totalling 591,300t @ 2.2% Ni) located 25km south of Coolgardie and plans to recommence mining operations in 2008.


The full announcement is pasted below:


Australian-based gold and nickel company Focus Minerals Ltd is pleased to announce a substantial increase in Inferred and Indicated Resources at the Company's Countess Gold Project; located within the Tindals Mining Centre at Focus soon to be 100%-owned Coolgardie Gold Project, Western Australia.

The Resource upgrade at Countess is an increase from the project's initial JORC-compliant Inferred Resource of 246,000t @ 4.3g/t, for approximately 33,700 contained ounces to a revised Indicated Resource of 256,200t @ 4.4g/t, for an estimated 36,000 ounces and an Inferred Resource of 196,700t @ 3.4g/t, for approximately 21,700 ounces. This equates to a 70% increase in the total Countess Resource to 452,900t @ 4.0g/t for approximately 57,700 contained ounces.

The revised Countess Resource will be the subject of a new Feasibility Study, which will ascertain the viability of the new resource and the synergies of potentially mining Countess in conjunction with Perseverance. This represents another significant step towards achieving the Company's objective of becoming a 100,000 ounce per annum producer at Coolgardie within the next three years.

The positive results at Countess further reinforce the potential of the nearby Perseverance Project, where Focus recently announced a 28% upgrade in Indicated Resources to 118,500 ounces. The Company is preparing to commence initial gold production at Perseverance in April after completing a positive Feasibility Study in December 2007.

The updated Countess Resource model (see Table 1) is based on 7,940m of drilling in 35 Diamond Core drill holes. The Resource comprises three distinct zones - the West Lode, East Lode and Tindals Deep Lode.

The Countess Resource upgrade has increased the current combined Tindals Mining Centre resource inventory - which now stands at more than 0.55 million ounces (Table 2) - to an Indicated Resource of 3.8 million tonnes at 2.9g/t Au for 348,900 ounces and an Inferred Resource of 2.2 million tonnes at 2.9g/t Au for 208,100 ounces. Historically the deposits comprising this centre have produced a total of 500,000 ounces from both open pit and underground operations.

The latest round of exploration drilling - carried out in late 2007 - combined with ongoing validation of historical data, has had a positive impact on the new geological model. The understanding of the West Lode has been significantly improved, with the new information enhancing the geological model.

The deposit remains open down plunge, to the south and along strike, and the Company is currently making plans to conduct further step-out drilling to further increase the resource.

Commenting on the new resource figures, Focus Minerals' Managing Director, Mr Peter Williams, said "This is an excellent upgrade to our resource base and comes at an opportune time for Focus as we gear up for our maiden gold production in April this year, initially with ore sourced from the Perseverance deposit."

"Given the zones are open along strike, and down plunge to the south, there is still plenty of potential for further upgrades and we will continue with our program of exploration drilling at both Countess itself and the Tindals Mining Centre as a whole," he added.




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