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De-watering at Southern Gold's Gubong gold mine in South Korea

Southern Gold metallurgy checks out in Korea

Excellent metallurgical recoveries of greater than 90% have been returned from Southern Gold’s Gubong JV gold project in western South Korea.

The company’s JV partner, Bluebird Merchant Ventures reported the encouraging results last week, as part of its ongoing evaluation into the economic feasibility of re-opening the historic high-grade Gubong gold mine.

The test work results from underground sampling at the mine show the ore is not refractory and that gold can be extracted by conventional leaching techniques, with a low reagent consumption.

Further test work is underway to determine if the gold mineralisation at Gubong has a coarse component, amenable to gravity recovery separation techniques, that could potentially lower processing costs further.

Bluebird will take additional samples from other areas of the underground mine workings to verify results obtained in the preliminary met work.

The LSE-listed company, is currently earning a 50% equity interest in Southern Gold’s 100%-owned Gubong and Kochang projects by farming-in with a spend of USD$1m, as part of its feasibility study program.

Bluebird will deliver its feasibility report in mid-2018, outlining preferred re-development options to advance either one, or both of Southern Gold’s projects into production for a capital expenditure of no more than USD$10m.

Bluebird CEO Colin Patterson said: “We are delighted with these initial results and the general progress to date at Gubong. The initial metallurgical results are very encouraging and give us the confidence to start looking at the various options available to take the Gubong project to the next stage.”

“We look forward to providing further updates on our progress at both our Gubong and Kochang projects in the near future.”

The results are important, because metallurgical recoveries are one critical factor in determining the viability and overall economics of restarting these historic mines.

Bluebird is currently dewatering the Gubong mine to increase access points to the extensive underground workings.

At the Kochang gold mine, about 85km southeast of Gubong, extensive underground mapping and sampling is underway, with access gained to the lowest levels of that mine.

Results from the underground sampling program are expected to be available in the coming week, according to Bluebird.

Once the company has compiled all necessary technical and sampling data from Kochang, it will start quantifying potential tonnages available for ore processing at the mine.

Metallurgical test work studies will also then be carried out on those ores in order to define a processing flowsheet for optimal recovery of gold at the underground mine.

Southern Gold own a portfolio of high-grade gold projects throughout South Korea that are a combination of long ago decommissioned gold mines and prospective orogenic mineralisation and greenfield epithermal target opportunities.

The company is a successful gold producer already in W.A. and is developing a small underground operation at the Cannon mine near Kalgoorlie.

Northern Star Resources holds a 5-year right-to-mine and Southern Gold is hoping to receive a revenue stream from the Cannon operation later this year.

The company is hoping to develop a much larger gold mining operation from its extensive assets in South Korea in the coming 12-18 months, riding shotgun with its in-country development partner Bluebird.

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