Gold focused company Central Rand Gold has completed a scoping study on its Crown West project which has delivered positive results. The Crown West project, which will be mined in a manner similar to the companys existing mining operations, is located approximately 5 km east of the CMR West mine and represents a fully standalone operation.The Crown West project is included within the existing New Order Mining Right of the CMR West operation and is fully permitted for ore extraction.The scoping study, undertaken by mining engineering consultants Mohloki Mining, confirms a ten year life of mine (LOM) operation with tonnage production profile building up over four years to a steady state of approximately 40 000 tpm, generating a steady state average of 53 000 oz of gold annually. As this is a scoping study, the LOM is based on the bulk of the mineral resources of SAMRECs compliant inferred resources. This scoping study does not impart reserve status on the grades and a tonnage portrayed and does not purport to be a definitive economic study. Operating costs are drawn from current operations in CMR West (specifically mining and processing costs) and have been optimised to reflect the benefits of economies of scale of a larger operation. Mining and processing cash costs are estimated at US$782/ounce.
The scoping study was undertaken as an initial low confidence assessment of mineral potential in the area geared at determining whether further work towards improving resource confidence was warranted.The positive economic output, whilst only at scoping level, illustrates that further work towards the generation of mineral reserves and associated feasibility study is recommended. This further work will consist of a diamond drilling programme aimed at upgrading the existing inferred resources to at least indicated resources, coupled with a comprehensive prefeasibility study to convert resources to reserves. During 2012, Central Rand Gold produced 13 709 oz of gold which was within 98% of the production guidance issued in the third quarter interim management statement. Underground production continues to perform in line with management expectations and the company is currently extracting its target of 14 000 t run rate per month.