Toronto-listed Orca is focused on publishing an updated resurce base at Block 14 in the first month of 2018, shortly followed by a feasibility study in the June quarter.
Results from eight recently drilled holes, which will go into this resource update, have supported the case for both resource expansion and reserve definition at the project.
The former came with an 88m interval grading 1.8g/t Au from 299m depth at the East Zone of Galat Sufar South (part of Block 14) - outside the current resource base - while the latter was best demonstrated with a 46m infill intercept averaging 3.44g/t from 281m depth. This hit came across visible gold at 299m depth where it struck a metre of mineralisation at 249g/t Au and 335g/t Ag.
Orca currently has a 1.95 million ounce resource base averaging 2-2.07g/t Au from GSS and Wadi Doum, 70km to the east of GSS. The company said it will resume drilling in January to continue resource development at GSS and to expand the Wadi Doum resource at depth where several high-grade shoots have been identified.
The management team is also in the process of discussing permitting with the government of Sudan and hopes to announce a construction decision and timeline for the development of Block 14 upon completion of the FS.
A revised preliminary economic assessment of Block 14 showed a project with in-pit mineral resources 1.93Moz at 1.46g/t in the indicated category and 173,000oz at 1.56g/t in the inferred category, a mill throughput of 3.4 million tonnes per annum, and strong economics with an after-tax NPV (7% discount) of US$227.7 million and an IRR of 23.1%. This factored in a gold price of $1,100 per ounce for mine design and $1,200/oz for economic analysis.
Since then, the company has approved the plan for a 6Mtpa project and, as a result, is looking for a substantial boost in resources.