Loncor Gold Inc. is pleased to announce that it has filed on SEDAR a National Instrument 43-101 technical report relating to the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) of the Company’s proposed open pit Adumbi gold deposit within its 84.68%-owned Imbo Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Company reports that it has been in preliminary discussions with potential strategic partners with respect to further development of the Company’s Adumbi and Makapela gold deposits (see below for information in respect of Makapela).
Based on the positive results of the Adumbi PEA, further work is warranted at Adumbi to advance the project up the value curve by completing follow up feasibility studies on the project. A number of potential opportunities have been identified for increasing mineral resources and enhancing the economics and financial returns at Adumbi that include the following:
Increasing and Upgrading Mineral Resources at Adumbi and within the Imbo Project
There is excellent exploration potential to further increase the mineral resources at Adumbi and within the Imbo Project area. At Adumbi, the mineralized BIF (Banded Ironstone Formation) host sequence increases in thickness below the open pit shell and wide spaced drilling has already intersected grades and thicknesses amenable to underground mining.
Further drilling is required to initially outline a significant underground inferred mineral resource which can then be combined with the open pit mineral resource so that studies can be undertaken for a combined open pit and underground mining scenario at Adumbi.
Besides increasing the resource base, a combined open pit/underground project could increase grade throughput and reduce strip ratios with the higher grade, deeper mineral resources being mined more economically by underground, which could increase annual gold production and drive down operating costs.
Additional deposits and prospects occur close by to Adumbi and have the potential to add mineral resources and feed for the Adumbi mine development. Along trend from Adumbi, the Manzako and Kitenge deposits remain open along strike and at depth and further drilling is warranted on these two deposits, while further along the structural trend to the southeast across the Imbo river and within the Imbo Project, four prospects (Esio Wapi, Paradis, Museveni and Mungo Iko) have been outlined which require initial drilling.
Additional Mineral Resources within the Ngayu Greenstone Belt.
Additional feed for the Adumbi processing plant could also come from Loncor’s 100%-owned high grade Makapela deposit, where Indicated Mineral Resources of 2.20 million tonnes grading 8.66 g/t Au (614,200 ounces of gold) and Inferred Mineral Resources of 3.22 million tonnes grading 5.30 g/t Au (549,600 ounces of gold) have been outlined to date with the high-grade material potentially being able to be transported economically to Adumbi.
Additional Geotechnical Investigations
Additional geotechnical investigations including drilling is recommended to optimize and potentially steepen pit slopes especially for the competent fresh BIF host rock which could reduce the strip ratio and thereby lower mining costs at Adumbi.
Further Metallurgical Testwork
Additional metallurgical testwork including additional flotation and petrographic studies is recommended to confirm recoveries, reagent consumptions and optimize flowsheet design. Potential to Reduce Pre-Production Capital Costs through a Hydroelectric Hybrid Power Agreement with Third Parties
As described in the Adumbi PEA study, hydroelectric sites have already been identified close to Adumbi and further studies are required to optimize the power set for the operation. Loncor is already in discussion with potential power suppliers with experience in the DRC to project finance and build a hydroelectric facility at Adumbi, and then have an offtake agreement with the Company to supply power for the mining operation. Such an agreement could improve the financial economics of the project.
The Adumbi PEA is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources in the open pit outlines that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that all the conclusions reached in the Adumbi PEA will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.