NUNAVUT – MIRAMAR MINING of Vancouver says the 2006 exploration program at its 100%-owned Hope Bay gold project will cost approximately $29 million. The plan includes 55,000 metres of drilling to further define the resource. This year’s program is based in part on a new exploration model that focuses on the geological similarities (including regional faults, alteration and mineralization) to the Timmins and Larder Lake areas in Ontario. The bulk of the program will be directed towards resource drilling in the Madrid area with lesser drilling at the Boston and Doris deposits.
Miramar plans to incorporate these results into feasibility and other studies to be completed by year end, which will enable the company to determine the best path of development. The feasibility study is expected to examine an operation with annual production of 250,000 to 300,000 oz of gold. The possibility that the northern part of the Madrid system could support a 500,000- to 750,000-oz/year open pit will also be examined.
Information posted at www.MiramarMining.com puts the measured and indicated resources at Hope Bay at 6.85 million tonnes grading 9.6 g/t Au plus inferred resources of 19.21 million tonnes at 7.0 g/t Au. Altogether the deposits may contain close to 4.3 million oz of gold.