Drilling begins on property adjacent to 125,000-oz Kyrgyzstan gold mine
Kenadyr Mining (TSXV: KEN) has started drilling the South Zone of its Borubai concession in the Kyrgyz Republic, hoping to capitalize on the property’s close proximity to a gold mine that in 2015 was opened by one of China’s largest gold producers.
Vancouver-based Kenadyr said last week that initial drilling is designed to intersect an area which was previously drilled in the former Soviet republic between 1970 and 1990, and which found significant gold mineralization.
According to a project page on its website, 81,838 metres of historical drilling has been done on the 164-square-kilometre Borubai license, with several large gold anomalies which have yet to be tested. Kenaydr drilled reverse-circulation holes in 2016 to confirm the previous exploration work.
“The South Zone is a high priority area for Kenadyr with excellent underlying geology. It is open and strongly mineralized at the extent of drilling, according to historical results, and we look forward to retesting this area, to confirm the high grade results reported from previous drilling,” said Dr. Alexander Becker, Kenadyr’s CEO, in a press release.
Citing unclassified (non NI 43-101) Soviet-era estimates, Kenadyr says the South Zone at Borubai contains 900,000 ounces of gold graded at 8.3 grams per tonne, based on a 24-hole drilling program.
Borubai is located adjacent to Zijin Mining’s Taldy-Bulak Levoberejny (TBL) mine, which started production in 2015 as a joint venture between China and Kyrgyzstan. The TBL mine is designed to produce 125,000 oz of gold per annum.
TBL was the second gold mine to open in the Kyrgyz Republic since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The first was a joint production arrangement in 1997 between Kyrgyzstan and Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) at Kumtor, the country’s largest gold deposit.
Kyrgyzstan and Centerra have had a shaky relationship over the last few years, as the country sought to form a 50-50 joint venture to run Kumtor. Last year Centerra took the impasse with the Central Asian country to international arbitration. The Kumtor gold mine is responsible for over 10% of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP.