Santana Minerals Eyes Riches From Rise And Shine Gold Discovery In NZ

Santana Minerals Ltd (ASX: SMI) has timed the delivery of the Initial Mining Assessments at Rise and Shine well, as the price of gold climbed to a record high overnight.

Rise and Shine is emerging as the most significant single gold discovery in New Zealand in four decades and is contained within the Bendigo-Ophir Gold Project.

The project is located in the Central Otago goldfields, within New Zealand’s most prolific goldfield having produced 13 million ounces.

Mining assessment study

The mining study revealed open pit outcomes, at the implied processing rate of 1.5 million tonnes per annum and a gold price of US$2,083 an ounce (NZ$3,415 an ounce) the open pit would generate an operating cash surplus of 2.04 billion dollars.

The total open pit process feed is estimated at 12.1 million tonnes at 2.5g/t for 972,000 gold ounces.

Cash operating cost estimates for the open pit are NZ$1,080 per ounce of recovered gold or NZ$78 per tonne processed.

Moving to underground outcomes, assuming an underground production rate of 800,000 tonnes per annum and the same gold price, the underground generates an operating cash surplus of NZ$1.24 billion.

The underground inventory for processing is 6.5 million tonnes at 3.1g/t for 656,000 gold ounces.

Cash operating cost estimates for the underground are NZ$1,312 per ounce of recovered gold or NZ$118 per tonne processed.

This could be just the start for Santana at Bendigo-Ophir. It was acquired in late 2020 after raising $7.5 million.

Rise and Shine so far is the only anomaly adequately drilled.

Therefore, the project is still substantially under-explored by modern techniques, providing potential for exploration upside to add to the current mineral resources.

The area is rich in infrastructure, being 1 hour from Queenstown with major roads in place, hydropower nearby, accessible fresh water, and a supportive new government.


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