“We first started drilling Emba Derho seriously in early 2006. It was a bit of gossan at the outcrop, but we used ground gravity, which is really an effective tool for these VMS systems, and it worked very well. Since then we’ve drilled about 80,000 metres on Emba Derho and defined a 62.5-million-tonne VMS deposit—copper-zinc-gold-silver.
“The drill program was part of our ongoing prefeasibility study. So that drill program had several objectives. A lot of the holes were drilled around where the pit walls would be, so we weren’t even targeting mineralization. It was done for geotechnical reasons, which will come out as part of the study. And some of the holes were drilled for metallurgical testing. Some of the holes were infill, and some were for expansion to depth, and they’ve shown that it continues on to depth. It’s still wide open downward. All these results will be used as part of the prefeasibility study at this stage.
The plan is that the Gupo deposit could be combined with the gold-oxide cap as a low-capital, low-cost gold plant. —Greg Davis
“For Emba Derho, we still have results pending for the gold-oxide cap. We did about 2,500 metres of RC drilling, shallow drilling, for the gold cap, which would be part of the prefeasibility study. And the plan is that the Gupo deposit could be combined with the gold-oxide cap as a low-capital, low-cost gold plant. So that is still to come. But we’re right in the midst of prefeasibility, which is due to be completed in January 2013.
“We’re currently drilling at the nearby Adi Nevas deposit; it’s part of the study, and it’s six kilometres away from Emba Derho. It has extremely high grades—8.4% zinc, 1.4% copper, 2.4 g/t gold and 100 g/t silver. So it will definitely add a sweetener to Emba Derho—the idea is that it can be blended in. That is pending.
“These are amazing projects. [Nevsun Resources'] Bisha Mine has similar geology and has been in production for about two and a half, three months now. These are polymetallic-copper-zinc-gold-silver and very rich deposits. Today’s numbers are great, but it’s somewhat expected in this kind of deposit.”
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