BOLIVAR STATE, Venezuela The Las Cristinas gold deposit may contain 30 million ounces, according to the latest estimates says CRYSTALLEX INTERNATIONAL of Toronto. The most recent report, prepared by MINE DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATES of Reno, Nev., estimates proven and probable reserves of 224 million t at 1.33 g/t (9.5 million oz), and the deposit is open at depth. The same report estimates measured and indicated resources at 439 million t grading 1.09 g/t (15.3 million oz) plus inferred resources of 208 million t at 0.91 g/t (6.1 million oz).
The resource and reserve estimates included two near-continuous deposits known as Conductora/Cuatro Muertos (CO/CM) and Mesones/Sofia (MS/SO). The former is a moderately dipping mineralized zone, 3-km-long and up to 400-m-thick, hosted by a shear zone of foliation-parallel pyrite disseminations and crosscutting quartz-carbonate-pyrite-chalcopyrite veinlets. The MS/SO deposits are predominantly tourmaline-bearing breccia pipe associated with intense silicification, potassium feldspar alteration, and coarse pyrite and chalcopyrite mineralization.
Crystallex says that the latest report confirms that Las Cristinas is one of the world's largest undeveloped gold deposits. President and CEO Marc Oppenheimer added, "The report concludes that with additional drilling at least a portion of inferred resources will likely be upgraded to the measured and indicated categories, which should add to the reserves. These data certainly validate the intensive efforts over the past several years which resulted in Crystallex securing the exclusive mining rights to the valuable deposit."
Newly appointed COO Ken Thomas (formerly of BARRICK GOLD) said, "This is a deposit of impressive size. I look forward to working with our government partners in Venezuela to bring this important property into production."
SNC-LAVALIN is preparing the feasibility study to be ready this summer. A 20,000-tonne/day mine and processing plant are proposed.
A video of Crystallex's operations is available at www.crystallex.com.