Manas to earn stake in Kazakhstan gold project

Oct 05. Mining Weekly

By Esmarie Swanepoel

Manas to earn stake in Kazakhstan gold projectGold developer Manas Resources has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Central Asia Resources over the Altyntas gold project, which would see the company earn a 70% stake in Kazakhstan project.

To earn the stake, Manas would have to spend A$2-million on exploration and mine development. The company would also manage the JV, and has committed to an initial and immediate A$0.5-million investment to test previous drilling on the Altyntas project, with a 4 000 m reverse circulation drill programme.

A decision to commit the remaining A$1.5-million would be made following the evaluation of the initial results.

“Altyntas provides Manas with an immediate drill target and exploration opportunities for our geological team, while the Shambesai gold project development schedule is finalised by the design and development team over the coming months,” said MD Stephen Ross.

“The project also provides us with a simple, near-term cash-flow opportunity via toll treatment, while satisfying our strategy of near-term production opportunities requiring limited capital.”

The exploration programme at Altyntas would be focused on delivering ore to the operating 1.5-million-ton-a-year Akbakai gold mine, owned by Kazakhstan gold producer JSC AK Altynalmas.

Central Asia has a memorandum of understanding in place to treat ore at Akbakai’s plant, located around 25 km from the Altyntas deposit.

Central Asia executive chairperson Guy Warwick said on Friday a substantial amount of time had been spent on ensuring that the Altyntas project had every chance of being successful.

“The superb new plant at Akbakai and Manas’ exploration team, which has a proven track record in the region, should allow us to fast-track the development of Altyntas,” said Warwick.

“Previously we have spent a lot of money at Altyntas outlining gold mineralisation and have worked on a clear path to production. This partnership should secure this path, giving us the potential to be in production within 12 months.”