- Pan African Resources has found a rich vein of gold at a Barberton mine – more than double what is normally considered high quality.
- Initial chip samples of the body ore indicated local grades in excess of 300 grams per tonne of milled ore, with an average density of around 25 grammes per tonne – more than double normally considered high quality.
- The mine where the vein was found has been in continuous operation since 1928.
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Gold mining company Pan African Resources (PAN) has announced the discovery of a high-grade gold vein – in places, extraordinary so – at its New Consort Mine near Barberton, in Mpumalanga.
So rich is the ore that in many cases it can be seen with the naked eye.
The ore body is said to contain “mineral reserve of 5,000 tons at an average grade of 25g/t delineated” while “initial sampling revealed grades in certain areas in excess of 300g/t,” said Pan African resources in a statement.
G/t is a measure of grams per tonne in milled ore, a universal metric of the value of a deposit of precious metal. And Pan African's numbers describe a very rich vein.
The World Gold Council defines an underground mine of high quality is one that has a gold ore density between 8 and 10g/t, “so this is a very high-grade gold ore body", says Chantal Marx, investment analyst at FNB Wealth.
The company has been attempting to access the ore body since December 2019, in an area close to where mining had been halted in the 1990s. It finally succeeded in May 2020, after operations resumed following the easing of lockdown regulations.
That, and a high gold price, helps make Pan African attractive to Marx, despite already being at a record high.
“Pan African is a high-quality company within the domestic gold mining space. While the gold price is very high currently, it may remain high for some time due to prevailing uncertainty related to the Covid-19 outbreak," she said.
“Gold mining companies will benefit during this period and generate strong cash flows. This could provide support for share prices, despite them having already run hard."
New Consort has been in continuous operation since 1928.
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