HIGH gold grades within a new central zone located in the current high grade zone (HGZ) mining area have been identified by Crater Gold Mining according to a mid-February announcement.

More visible gold has been observed with a higher frequency of elevated gold grades in this central zone than elsewhere in the system, Crater said.

Development at the HGZ gold mine project on Crater Mountain during 2015 covered around 60 metres north south and 30 metres east west identifying structures considered to be controlling the gold mineralisation.

Crater said this confirms the results of the diamond drilling carried out in 2014.

This work identified a strong link structure trending roughly north east – south west linking the prominent north south structures thought to have controlled the gold mineralisation, Crater said.

This fresh geological interpretation with resultant improved understanding of the controls to mineralisation will according to Crater enable mining to be focussed within the zone.

Going forward the objective of the company is ongoing cash flow to establish Crater as a profitable gold producer, the company said.

“When we reach mining plant capacity, we anticipate producing some 10,000 ounces of gold in the first full year of production, at an all in cash cost of below $400 per ounce average over the mining lease term.”

The HGZ project is a high margin operation.While the current focus remains on the HGZ mine, Crater said there is potential to increase the current JORC compliant resource of 24 metric tonne (MT) at 1.0 grams per tonne of gold (g/t Au) for 790,000 ounces at the nearby mixing zone project at Crater Mountain.

Crater Mountain is located 50 kilometres south west of Goroka in the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.

Formerly a tier 1 BHP asset, there has been in excess of 14,500 metres of diamond drilling to date, the majority focussed on the Nevera prospect, which hosts the HGZ mine.