Australian firm Medusa Mining Ltd expects to start mining for gold, iron and copper in the southern province of Surigao del Sur next week after getting permits covering the Kamarangan area, company managing director Geoff Davis said in a statement.
Work is planned to start in a site called Dumaag, where iron-rich samples had been collected, he said.
“The potential mineralisation types are hosted by various [structures] that have been interpreted to cover an area approximately 1,200 metres by up to 1,000 metres,” Davis said.
He said detailed descriptions of gold, iron and copper sampling results from 21 iron-rich samples averaged 9.5 grams of gold per tonne of ore and 37.5% iron.
The samples also yielded a copper value of 0.33%, which was higher than the findings that Medusa Mining announced last February, he added.
“It is apparent that the Kamarangan area represents a major target for gold, iron and copper,” Davis said.
The grant of drilling permits came following Medusa Mining’s announcement last April that it was on track with its first-phase expansion activities at its Co-O mine in Surigao del Sur.
The company said such activities would triple by late 2009 its yearly output from Co-O to 60,000 ounces of gold.
In a report to investors issued in April, Medusa said it was currently producing at an annualised 20,000 ounces, which would increase to 40,000 ounces in the second half of this year and to 50,000 ounces in the first half of 2009.
It also said it planned to start in July a second-phase expansion of the Co-O mine to increase production to 100,000 ounces of gold by the first quarter of 2010.
In a second-phase expanded operation, the Co-O gold mine’s plant capacity will reach 1,000 tonnes of ore daily, it said.
Also in April, Davis said the projected expanded output of the Co-O mine was based on an expanded resource of 713,00 ounces at 10.9 grams of gold per tonne of ore.
“To achieve this production, the company has elected to sink a new shaft (called Hill View) to an initial depth of 420 metres, with the capacity for it to be deepened to 600 metres in the future,” he said.