Pacific Niugini delivers Nicolsons progress update

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Junior gold developer Pacific Niugini (PNR) has provided an update for its 80% owned Nicolsons Project.

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PNR said that operations were proceeding as planned, with high-grade face assays continuing to be encountered in the advanced ore drive.

The company also advised that commissioning of the Nicolsons plant was underway, with all components tested and operating as expected.

“Approximately 1,200 tonnes of low-grade material has been crushed and stockpiled, and will be processed in the ensuing days,” PNR said in a statement to the ASX.

“Processing of high-grade ore is expected to commence within the next week, with approximately 3,000 tonnes of underground developed stock awaiting processing. Additional low-grade material left stockpiled from previous operations by third parties is also available for processing, and will be utilised as required to optimise plant throughput.”

In relation to the underground development, PNR said the decline continued to advance through fresh rock and had reached the take off point for the second level access drive, which is expected to be intersected around the middle of the current month.

The company said that ore development was being undertaken with split firing to enable the majority of sub-grade material in the first ore drive to be mined separately prior to excavation of the high-grade ore material.

“The first ore drive is shaping up to provide an outstanding initial ore feed for the commencement of processing. Individual face chip assays have been consistently higher grade than indicated in the resource model, and the southern leg of the drive has progressed well past the current reserve boundary,” said PNR Managing Director Paul Cmrlec.

“Together, these outcomes demonstrate the substantial upside potential of the project. Plant start-up to date has progressed well with the crushing circuit commissioning completed, and mill commissioning underway. The site is on track to produce its first gold during August, which is in line with the pre-commencement project plan. The completion of site construction works in less than six months is a credit to the site team, who have worked tirelessly throughout this initial period.”