Carpathian Gold Inc.

Carpathian Gold Inc.

April 05, 2011 07:00 ET

Carpathian Updates Resource Estimate for RDM Gold Project, Brazil: Open-Pit Measured + Indicated Resource Increase by 15%

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX:CPN) the "Corporation" or "Carpathian") is pleased to announce an updated National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 Resource Estimate, as provided by independent consultants NCL Brasil Ltda. ("NCL") on its 100% owned Riacho dos Machados ("RDM") gold project located in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. 

This resource estimate (the "2011 Resource Estimate") is an update to the NI 43-101 Resource Estimate previously announced on July 26, 2010 (the "2010 Resource Estimate"), and includes results from a database representing 444 drill holes totaling 66,636 metres. Samples from auger holes and trenches totaling 1,386 m were also used in this estimate. The Corporation drilled 74 core holes for 10,365 metres subsequent to the 2010 Resource Estimate.

2011 Resource Estimate Highlights include:

  • Measured plus Indicated mineral resource of 936,600 ounces of gold (open-pit plus underground), an increase of 15% from the 2010 Resource Estimate.

  • Inferred resource of 587,300 ounces of gold (open-pit plus underground).

  • Inferred mineral resource for the open-pit portion of the deposit of 240,700 ounces of gold.

"We are pleased with the new 2011 Resource Estimate and the continued success of the high rate of conversion of upgrading the inferred resources to measured plus indicated categories" commented Mr. Dino Titaro, President and CEO of the Corporation. "This is the third resource estimate on the project and each estimate confirms the excellent continuity of the gold mineralization and significantly decreases the risks of the project development. While the RDM feasibility study was commissioned for the conversion of the measured + indicated resources to reserves for the open-pit portion of the deposit, we are confident that there is a high probability of further conversion of the remaining open-pit inferred resources at a later date once mining operations have commenced, plus significant further organic growth for the project both along strike and at depth". 

The 2011 open-pit Resource Estimate is constrained by a pit shell obtained using pit-optimizer software (Whittle 4X) applying approximate mining and processing costs derived from the ongoing Feasibility Study, a US$1,100/ounce gold price (less than approximate the two-year trailing average for gold price) and a 0.32 g/t Au cut-off grade. Below the resource open-pit shell, and excluding a 10-metre crown pillar, a higher-grade cut-off is utilized (1.0 g/t Au) to define a resource with underground mining potential. This underground mining resource includes considerations of potential economic parameters and mine engineering.

Table 1 below shows the details on the 2011 Resource Estimate.

Table 1        
NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate for RDM    
Open-Pit Measured Indicated Measured plus Indicated Inferred
  Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz)
Oxide 274 1.13 10.0 1,965 1.08 68.1 2,239 1.08 78.1 175 1.31 7.4
Transition 219 1.29 9.0 1,515 1.35 65.8 1,734 1.34 74.8 64 1.32 2.7
Fresh Rock 1,573 1.64 82.7 13,762 1.57 695.6 15,335 1.58 778.3 4,378 1.64 230.6
TOTAL 2,065 1.53 101.7 17,242 1.50 829.5 19,308 1.50 931.3 4,617 1.62 240.7
Underground Measured Indicated Measured plus Indicated Inferred
  Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz)
Total (Fresh Rock)1 - - - 52 3.18 5.3 52 3.18 5.3 4,830 2.23 346.6
Total Open-Pit & Underground Measured Indicated Measured plus Indicated Inferred
  Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (koz)
Total 2,065 1.53 101.7 17,294 1.50 834.8 19,360 1.50 936.6 9,447 1.93 587.3
  • Base case cut-offs grades used in the mineral resource are 0.32 g/t Au for the open-pit and 1.0 g/t Au for the underground. 
  • Open-pit resources are constrained within a pit shell utilizing estimated mining and processing costs and US$1,100/oz gold (see parameters listed below). The US$1,100 gold price is less than the two-year trailing average gold price.
  • Rounding of tonnes as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content.

The 2011 Resource Estimate includes the de-commissioned cyanide heap leach pile from the previous mine operator (Vale) which includes 541,170 tonnes at an average grade of 0.56 g/t Au. This resource was defined by an auger drill program and is classified as an indicated resource incorporated into the open-pit oxide zone. The Corporation intends to use this heap-leach pile for process-plant commissioning as a low-grade stockpile.

Shown below are tables of cut-off grade versus grade-tonnages for the 2011 open-pit resource estimate (Table 2) and the underground resource estimate (Table 3). These tables illustrate the high-grade content of the resource with significant tonnages at 2x the base-case cut-off grades. 

Table 2 
Open-Pit Resource Cut-Off Grade versus Grade-Tonnages.   
Cut-Off Grade Measured + Indicated  Inferred 
Au (g/t) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz)
1.10 10,885 2.08 727.4 2,824 2.16 196.4
0.95 12,679 1.93 786.5 3,256 2.01 210.6
0.80 14,574 1.79 839.8 3,678 1.88 222.4
0.65 16,482 1.67 884.3 4,060 1.77 231.4
0.50 18,168 1.57 915.6 4,405 1.68 237.8
0.35 19,218 1.51 930.3 4,608 1.62 240.6
0.32 19,308 1.50 931.3 4,617 1.62 240.7
Notes: 1) Rounding of tonnes as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content. 2) the resource is the total of the oxide, transitional and sulfide material. 3) The calculation utilizes economic parameters and gold price of US$1,100/ounce gold). Base-case cut-off grade is shaded.     
Table 3
Underground Resource Cut-Off Grade versus Grade-Tonnages.    
Cut-Off Grade Indicated  Inferred 
Au (g/t) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz)
2.00 47 3.32 5.0 2,721 2.82 246.7
1.75 51 3.21 5.2 3,267 2.65 278.3
1.50 51 3.20 5.2 3,782 2.51 305.2
1.25 51 3.19 5.2 4,252 2.39 326.7
1.00 52 3.18 5.3 4,830 2.23 346.6
0.79 52 3.18 5.3 4,941 2.20 349.5
Notes: 1) Rounding of tonnes as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content. 2) All resource is sulfide material. 3) Beneath the Resource Open-Pit Shell (US$1,100/ounce gold). Base-case cut-off grade is shaded.     

A series of Whittle 4X pit shells were performed utilizing the current open-pit resource estimate within a range of gold prices of US$ 950 to US$ 1,140 per ounce (Table 4). When comparing the 2010 open-pit Resource Estimate that was calculated with a gold price of US$950 per ounce with the current 2011 open-pit Resource Estimate, at the same gold price there is a significant increase in the 2011 measured plus indicated resources: 806,200 ounces to 915,900 ounces. The gold price $1,100 per ounce utilized for the 2011 Resource Estimate pit shell is less than the two-year average tailing gold price.

Table 4
A series of Whittle 4X Pit-Shells at Various Gold Prices    
Gold Price Applied
Cut-Off Grade
Measured + Indicated  Inferred 
US$ Au (g/t) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz) Ktonnes Au (g/t) Au (Koz)
$1,140 0.30 19,378 1.50 932.6 4,732 1.62 246.5
$1,100 0.32 19,308 1.50 931.3 4,617 1.62 240.7
$1,000 0.35 19,025 1.51 923.2 4,147 1.64 219.1
$950 0.37 18,774 1.52 915.9 3,660 1.65 194.7
$900 0.39 18,582 1.53 911.3 3,181 1.67 171.1
Notes: 1) Rounding of tonnes as required by reporting guidelines may result in apparent differences between tonnes, grade and contained metal content. 

Resource Growth Potential

The gold mineralization is situated within a continuous 14.0 kilometre long shear zone hosted in Precambrian metamorphic rocks with a demonstrated gold endowment. This shear zone is fully covered by the Corporation's mining concession and exploration licenses that extend over a continuous strike-length of approximately 30 kilometres covering an area of approximately 22,000 ha. The most intensely explored zone and location of the current 2011 Resource Estimate only represents approximately 2.0 kilometres of the southern portion of this shear zone. There are numerous surface gold targets of similar gold grade that occur along strike within this shear zone and to date a total of five (5) priority exploration targets have been outlined north of the open-pit resource area and one to the south.

The focus of the Corporation's drill programs thus far has been on resource definition with in-fill drilling within the open-pit portion of the deposit for incorporation into the reserve estimate contained in the Feasibility Study. Further exploration drilling and evaluation is planned to extend the near surface mineralization as well as test the other exploration targets along this highly prospective shear zone.

In addition to the strike extension targets and defined satellite exploration targets, the gold mineralization at RDM is open at depth. Once the open-pit mine is in production the Corporation plans to evaluate the underground resource as defined in the Preliminary Economic Assessment study completed in 2009, which demonstrated a good probability of additional higher-grade ore from an underground operation that could add to the overall operation both in terms of extending the mine life of the project and increasing the annual gold production rate by approximately 50%. Insufficient work has been completed at this time to allow for this potential underground resource to be included in the Feasibility Study. The grade of this underground mineralization is analogous to existing underground operating mines in Brazil, such as Yamana Gold's Fazenda Brasileiro and Jacobina mines.

Mineral Resource Estimate Parameters and Assumptions

The following data and methods were used to generate the 2011 Resource Estimate: 

  • Mineral resources were estimated in conformance with the CIM Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve definitions referred to in National Instrument 43–101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

  • The resource estimate database was based on 444 drill holes, totalling 66,636 metres, 35 Auger holes for 275 metres sampled and 1,136 metres of trenches, where 1,107 samples were taken. This drilling is predominantly diamond drill core, but does include Reverse Circulation drilling mainly as pre-collars for diamond drill holes. As part of this total, and following validation, the Corporation re-sampled drill core from 156 drill holes completed by Vale, a previous property owner, which represents a total of 24,659 metres drilling. 

  • Sample preparation and gold assays were conducted by independent ISO Certified international laboratories. A thorough QA/QC program was in place during the drill program, which included the insertion of standards, duplicates and blanks at regular intervals totalling 17% of the submitted samples along with a check assay program from a secondary assay laboratory with 3% check assays. A review of the QA/QC database showed adequate levels of quality for the Resource Estimate.

  • Densities were determined for a representative number of rock and mineralization types using industry standard methods. A total of 116 determinations exist in the database. The average value for each modeled alteration type was applied to the block model. 

  • Detailed geologic logging and sectional interpretations led to the development of a geologic model of lithology and alteration types. This model is utilized to constrain the geometry of three-dimensional grade-shell solids with a nominal cut-off of 0.30 g/t Au for the open-pit and 1.00 g/t Au for the underground. Geologic interpretation and modelling, 3D domain model building was carried-out by the Corporation's exploration team and audited by NCL. The grades shells typically form stacked elongated tabular bodies. In the open-pit, a main mineralized solid (Main Zone) is overlain by a thinner hanging wall solid (Hanging Wall Zone) with an intervening waste zone. For the underground model, a single main-zone grade-shell solid was adopted with a localized hanging-wall zone of widths on the order of 1 to 8 metres, averaging 2.7 metres.

  • A geologic/grade shell-model constrains the grade interpolation of a block-model generated using Gemcom software. Analysis of gold grade distributions and variography studies were utilized for grade interpolation utilizing the Ordinary Kriging ("OK") method. Validation of OK through various methods were completed prior to finalizing.

  • A pit optimizer software (Whittle Four-X) was used to define the portions of the block model with reasonable prospects of being economic using open-pit mining methods, as defined by the CIM code for mineral resources. NCL adopted the following parameters for the Whittle optimization:

  Gold price of US$1,100 /oz
  Mining operating cost: US$1.56/tonne for ore and US$1.40/tonne for waste
  Plant operating cost including a CIL circuit: US$8.50 /tonne
  G&A: US$1.25/tonne ore
  Gold recovery (for all mineralization types based on metallurgical test work completed by Carpathian) of 90%
  For the open-pit, pit slope angles of 29° to 34° for the oxide zone°, 30° to 47° for the mixed zone and 34° to 50° for the fresh rock domain were utilized.
  • The underground resource estimate model was examined to justify the portions of the block model that would support the necessary capital to develop them. The portions that were too isolated or with insufficient grade or tonnage for underground mining were categorized as waste.

  • The resource classification parameters for all models considers the geologic model in context of gold-grade continuity and gold-grade variography studies to determine the parameters of a search ellipsoid. The requirement for indicated resources is two drill holes from within a search volume of 40 metre radius along plunge and 36 metre across plunge. Measured resources have half of this range, also requiring two drill holes and inferred resources are defined with a search volume of 100m x 75 m, without restriction of number of drill holes.

Mr. Rodrigo Mello, MAusIMM, Senior Geologist with NCL is the independent Qualified Person responsible for the Mineral Resource Estimate and has reviewed this press release. The complete NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report will be filed on SEDAR at within 45 days.

Sample Protocol

Assay results are predominantly from a half-core split (sawn) NQ drill core and sampled on a metre by metre basis through the mineralized zone and into surrounding altered rock. In addition, Reverse Circulation ("RC") drilling through the mineralized zone is sampled on a metre by metre basis and assayed only when dry samples are collected. Samples were also collected from Auger holes, in the decommissioned heap leach pile, and from channel samples, along the wall of trenches crossing the mineralized zone. All samples collected from RDM are prepared and assayed at the independent ISO Certified SGS laboratory, located near Belo Horizonte, Brazil using industry standard fire assay techniques for gold on 50-gram sample charges with AAS finish. Coarse blanks, pulp blanks, pulp duplicates, and known gold standards are inserted on a routine basis. Combined, they consist of 17% per cent of submitted samples. In addition, on a periodic basis 3% of the crusher rejects are re-submitted and a minimum of 3% of the pulps will be analyzed at the ISO Certified ALS Chemex Laboratory near Belo Horizonte, Brazil for check assays.

Mr. Titaro, P.Geo. is the qualified person (as defined in NI 43-101) overseeing the design and implementation of the present exploration programs. He is responsible for preparing the technical information contained in this news release.

About Carpathian

The Corporation is an exploration and development company whose primary business interest is developing near-term gold production on its 100% owned Riacho dos Machados Gold Project in Brazil, which is currently in the Feasibility Study stage, along with progressing its exploration and development plans on its 100% owned Rovina Valley Au-Cu Project located in Romania. On a company wide basis, the Corporation currently hosts 43-101 resources of 4.0 million ounces of gold in the measured plus indicated categories and 4.5 million ounces of gold in the inferred category, as well as 759.1 million pounds of copper in the measured plus indicated category and 663.1 million pounds of copper in the inferred category. 

The Riacho dos Machados Gold Project, is targeted to produce in the order of 100,000 ounces of gold per annum, with construction targeted by management to be initiated by mid 2011 with an anticipated goal for the commencement of production in late 2012. The Rovina Valley Project will enhance the Corporations growth profile as a mid-tier gold producer. 

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "Project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future exploration drilling, exploration activities and events or developments that the Corporation expects, are forward-looking statements. Although the Corporation believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated statements. The Corporation undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The TSX does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

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