VENEZUELA SNC LAVALIN has completed the full feasibility study for a 40,000-tonnes/day gold operation at Las Cristinas in the Kilometre 88 region. CRYSTALLEX INTERNATIONAL of Toronto holds the exploration and mining rights granted by the Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG).
The Las Cristinas project is based on proven and probable reserves of 297 million tonnes grading 1.17 g/t Au. Measured and indicated mineral resources total 439 million tonnes grading 1.09 g/t Au. All told, the deposit may contain as many as 26 million oz of recoverable gold.
The development capital cost for Las Cristinas is estimated at US$365 million. It will be a conventional truck-and-shovel open pit mine. Processing will include crushing, SAG milling and secondary ball milling. A gravity circuit will recover free gold, and the remaining metal will be recovered by carbon-in-leach. The recovery rate is estimated to be 89% for gold. Over a mine life of 20 years, production will average 490,000 oz Au annually. Details of the study are available in a press release at www.crystallex.com.
The Las Cristinas property has been the focus of much legal wrangling, most recently the continuing battle by VANNESSA VENTURES to regain rights to the project. Get the full story written by Vivian Danielson in the April 5, 2004, issue of THE NORTHERN MINER.