Integra Mining (ASX: IGR) transitioned from gold explorer to producer in September 2010 after pouring first gold from its flagship Randalls Gold Project.
The company has steadily built up its mineral portfolio through a series of acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and now controls a consolidated tenement package of approximately 1,500km2 in the heart of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
Integra Mining (ASX: IGR) has reported that metallurgical test-work confirms that gold can be recovered from the mineralised shale at the Salt Creek gold deposit that was previously classified as waste.
This material is now being mined and stockpiled as ‘out of Reserves’ mine production and will be processed through the Salt Creek process plant after it is commissioned in September.
Salt Creek is located within the company’s Randalls Gold Project located 60 kilometres south-east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
The shale-hosted gold mineralisation at the Salt Creek deposit has not previously been included in Mineral Resources estimates and is located stratigraphically above the main dolerite-hosted Salt Creek gold mineralisation.
Extreme high-grade drill intercepts in the shale have previously been noted including an intercept of 4 metres at 328 g/t gold and 1 metre at 627 g/t gold.
As overburden removal at the Salt Creek gold deposit has commenced, a programme of close-spaced definition drilling has been completed to identify the extents of the shale-hosted gold mineralisation.
Some very high-grade gold results have been received from the definition drilling including: 7m @ 26.06 g/t gold including 1 metre at 156 g/t gold; 6m @ 29.06 g/t gold including 2 metres at 77.50 g/t gold; and 4m @ 43.03 g/t gold.
Importantly, metallurgical test-work indicates low organic carbon contents in the shale and that it can be processed through the Salt Creek process facility with test-work gold recoveries in the vicinity of 91%.
Initial production will focus on the north-western half of the shale. Volume/grade and contained ounces estimates will be provided over the coming months as grade control drilling and mining continue.
Average production grade expectations for the shale hosted gold mineralisation, taking into account mining dilution and mining loss, would be in the order of 2 g/t gold.
The Salt Creek gold discovery remains at an early stage of evaluation and Integra is confident that there remains very significant upside to extend the known mineralisation.
Chris Cairns, Managing Director, said project commissioning and first gold production is expected to be achieved in September 2010.