Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd. said Jan. 2 that infill drilling increased measured and indicated gold resources at its Tulkubash project, part of its Chaarat property in the Kyrgyz Republic, by 15% to 1.6 million ounces following a 46% increase in September 2018.
The miner has now increased the measured and indicated Tulkubash resource by 67%, representing 653,000 ounces, since the April 2018 estimate of 971,000 ounces, which was the basis of a feasibility study.
Measured and indicated resources at Tulkubash comprise 42 million tonnes grading an average 1.20 g/t, mostly classified as indicated. Tulkubash also hosts inferred resources of 33,000 ounces within 2.3 million tonnes grading 0.46 g/t.
Chaarat has drilled 48 new holes since the September 2018 update covering approximately 9,370 meters and focused on infill drilling within the current strike length.
The company noted that the deposit's average grade fell by 0.15 g/t of gold to 1.2 g/t compared to the September 2018 update because of some lower grades in a northeast strike extension. The decrease in grade was offset by an increase in tonnage and continuity of mineralization.
Chaarat said it encountered 33 ounces of gold per meter drilled in 2018, with discovery costs amounting to approximately US$11.40/oz of measured and indicated gold. An updated reserves estimate and financial modeling for Tulkubash are anticipated by the end of February.
"We believe this is the beginning of an emerging new gold district," Chaarat Technical Director Dorian Nicol said. "The mineralization remains open along strike and we have drilled only a small portion of the prospective 24-kilometer trend of favorable geology and surface gold occurrences."
The gold project developer said in September 2018 that it expects to start full-scale construction at Tulkubash in the second quarter of 2019 and expects first gold near the end of 2020.