The mineral resource estimate was conducted by West Australian mining consultant, Cube Consulting and has been prepared in line with the 2012 JORC code.
Data utilized in the resource estimate was calculated from historic drilling along with assays received from nearly 90 percent of Antilles’ 28,000m diamond drilling blitz across the deposit.
The mineral resource estimated a cut-off grade of 0.8 g/t gold and the pit optimization shell was set at US$2000 per gold ounce to calculate the economically viable ore.
The company expects all outstanding assays will be received next month and will apply the finishing touches to its mineral resource estimate ahead of completing the definitive feasibility study, or “DFS” slated for November this year.
Antillies and GeoMinera are looking to fast-track La Demajagua into production, with construction at the mine slated to start early next year. The first shipment of concentrate is earmarked for the second quarter of 2024.
Under preliminary revisions to the February 2022 scoping study, management says the additional estimated 2.6 million tonnes within the revised indicated and inferred resource has the potential to extend the mine life of the open pit from six to eight years.
Antilles tabled an impressive set of numbers for its Cuban gold project from its scoping study earlier this year.
At the time, the company estimated it could make $35 million a year net profit after tax for the initial six-year open-pit mine life which represented its 49 per cent share of the profits from the project, 51 per cent owned by GeoMinera.
Under the February scoping study, an annual metal production of 100,600 ounces of gold equivalent was projected, expecting to generate US$700.5 million over the six-year initial life-of-mine estimation, assuming a gold price of US$1650 per ounce and silver price of US$22 per ounce.
The life of mine cash surplus for the joint venture partners was forecast at US$325.4 million, or US$54.25 million a year.
The study estimates a net present value of US$218.1 million for the project and a healthy internal rate of return of 43.7 per cent.
With an additional two years added to the open-pit mine life, Antilles buys itself some much-needed breathing space to develop the underground mine with plans to drill the subterranean resource deferred until 2028.
Importantly, the extended open pit mine life will assist the company’s joint venture to finalize project finance. Antilles reported it has commenced negotiations with suppliers to provide credit, with backing by the China Exim Bank.
Since Antilles released its first scoping study into the La Demajagua gold and silver project in February this year, the price of gold price has witnessed some volatility with it hitting a high of US$2,049 amidst rising global tension from the Russia and Ukraine war, before dropping to a low of US$1,779 on growing concern over increasing inflation. The resource now appears to have settled around the US$1,850 mark.
Antilles is teetering tantalizingly close to joining the million-ounce mark club at its La Demajagua gold and silver project. With a revised scoping study well underway, market observers will be keen to see how the numbers shape up with an additional 188,000 ounces of contained gold in the updated mineral resource estimate.