Thursday September 13, 2012
Bright potential for Sarawak’s Bau gold field
KUALA LUMPUR: International mining company, Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc., which is undertaking a feasibility study on the Bau Goldfield, near Jugan Hill in Sarawak, says prospects are bright for the gold field to emerge as an important gold producer in Southeast Asia.
Central Bau is a large and historic goldfield, with an established gold resource, which has been mined intermittently since the mid 19th century.
The Bau Goldfield lies within the Borneo metalliferous belt, which contains several other important gold mining camps, including Kelian, Mamut (gold-copper) and Mt Muro.
Currently, Olympus, based in Toronto, Canada, controls 83% of the project, which will increase to 93% over the next two years.
For the past few months, Olympus Pacific’s team has been testing the metallurgy of the Jugan Hill deposits at the Bau goldfield as part of the feasibility study which is due for completion in 2013.
“Jugan Hill is shaping up to be larger than was first foreseen, it’s one of the multiple gold prospects on the property and the first to undergo comprehensive metallurgy testing,” the company said in a statement issued from Toronto.
It said Central Bau was known to be similar to the Carlin area in Northern Nevada, one of the largest gold-producing areas in the world.
Bau has a mixture of both refractory and non-refractory ore and Olympus is interested in selecting the process that maximises recovery and minimises costs as it moves ahead with its feasibility studies.
Although it is still early, the initial results speak for themselves. A possible 90-98% oxidation recovery rate is as good as anyone might hope for.
The company’s chief executive officer John Seton was quoted as saying in the statement that “these test results would be a tremendous boon to the Bau project as some people felt the refractory ore complex would hinder development at Jugan Hill.
“That’s simply not the case, these results are proving to be industry standard or better and proving that both Albion and pressure oxidisation are viable processes,” he added.
Olympus is a diversified gold production and exploration company with three core assets in Sarawak and Vietnam and an exploration project in north Philippines.
The company has two producing gold mines in central Vietnam, which generates operating cash from current production. -Bernama