Tuvatu Gold Project
The Tuvatu Gold Project is located on the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji within three contiguous Special Prospecting License areas (SPL's 1283, 1296 and 1465) covering 12,166 hectares (105 km²) in the upper Sabeto Valley, 25 kilometers from the Nadi International Airport.
The Fiji Islands are located in the SW Pacific's "Ring of Fire" in an island-arc volcanic setting that is prospective for epithermal gold and porphyry copper-gold mineralizing systems. Tuvatu is one of several epithermal gold systems aligned on the Viti Levu Lineament, Fiji's corridor of mineralized volcanic centers.
Fiji's oldest operating gold mine, Vatukoula, is located 50km NE of Tuvatu. Vatukoula was one of the first major gold deposits identified in the SW Pacific region and has produced over 7 million ounces of gold over its 75 years of operations (per website of Vatukoula Gold Mines, June 2013). Fiji remains underexplored and highly prospective for new discoveries.
Tuvatu was previously developed in the 1997-2000 period by the Emperor Gold Mining Company of Australia. Underground development started in 1997, culminating in resource and reserve estimates under JORC and the completion of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies in 2000. Work completed in this period included over 1,600 meters of underground development, 87,000 meters of drilling, with a total of eighteen mineralized structures identified and drilled to a depth of 240 meters below surface.
The historical resource and reserve estimates that Emperor's pre-feasibility and feasibility reserves were based on have since been superseded by the updated resource estimate in the technical report "Technical Report and Resource Estimate on the Tuvatu Gold Property, Viti Levu, Fiji" (the "Technical Report") dated Oct. 1, 2010, and filed by the Company on SEDAR on November 26, 2010.
The Tuvatu Gold Project currently has an indicated mineral resource of 172,000 oz. Au (760,000 tonnes at 7.05 g/t Au) and an inferred mineral resource of 480,000 oz. Au (2,618,000 tonnes at 5.71 g/t Au).
The Company cautions that historic resources and reserves are referenced for historical context only. Current mineral resources are not reserves and have not demonstrated economic viability. Mineral reserves have yet to be established on the project.
Gold mineralization at Tuvatu is hosted in a series of low-sulphidation epithermal gold-silver vein systems at the periphery of the intrusive stock of the Navilawa Caldera. Gold mineralization is typified by native gold as well as gold-silver tellurides within banded quartz veins and stockwork zones. Two major vein corridors have been extensively drilled to-date, however a number of other known prospects have yet to be drill tested on the extensive property position. A total of 600 holes (87,000 meters) were previously drilled on the property during the 1997-2000 Emperor era.
Exploration in the current Lion One era has targeted 560 meters of strike extent of the east-west trending Murau structural corridor. Multiple sub-parallel near-surface, high-grade veins have been encountered. The Murau structural corridor is located west of north-south trending UR structural corridor that hosts an indicated mineral resource of 172,000 oz. Au (760,000 tonnes at 7.05 g/t Au) and an inferred mineral resource of 480,000 oz. Au (2,618,000 tonnes at 5.71 g/t Au).
The Company is focused on increasing its understanding on the geometry of these mineralized zones and the structural controls that influence their emplacement, with a goal of increasing the Company's resource base, building a viable development model, and advancing towards production.
In 2013 the Company initiated the project permitting and community consultation process with the approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Mining Lease application for Tuvatu with the Mineral Resources Department of Fiji (the "MRD").
Highlights of the ongoing 2012-2013 drilling program are summarized in the Tuvatu Drilling Highlights 2012-2013 link on the right hand side of the page.