Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome

NEXT year could be a pivotal one for Kingston Resources, with the Sydney-based junior planning a resource upgrade, mining studies and permitting for its 75%-owned Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea.
Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome Kingston plans to copy Placer Dome

Drilling on Misima Island, PNG

Misima has a 2.8 million ounce resource at 1.1 grams per gold and is a former Placer Dome open pit that produced as much as 370,000 ounces in 1992.

Under Placer, cash costs averaged US$218 an ounce and recoveries were 91.7%.

"That's the secret sauce of Misima - the metallurgy," Kingston managing director Andrew Corbett told the Noosa Mining and Exploration Investor Conference last week.

Misima only closed in 2001 due to the low gold price and Corbett said the company would look to copy Placer when it develops its own operation.

"We're not looking to reinvent the wheel," he said.

"We've got a great blueprint to follow."

Kingston is targeting shallow, higher grade ounces for early starter pits.

"We think it's going to be a large-scale operation in PNG," Corbett said.

"We're expecting a very long mine life."

Ahead of mining studies next year, Kingston is focused on exploration to increase the resource to at least 3Moz.

The bulk of the current resource is at Umuna, which is open at depth and drill-constrained.

The company has over 4km of untested strike at Misima North, and 1.8km of strike to test at Umuna East.

At Ewatinona, where there is a 220,000oz resource, the results of first-stage drilling, released last week, included 8m at 2.6gpt; 20m at 1.81gpt, including 3m at 7.48gpt; and 11m at 1.41gpt.

"They're some great results and very encouraging," Corbett said.

"In fact, we're so encouraged we're adding another hole to the program so we're looking forward to that in the coming weeks."

Kingston is aiming to update the Misima resource in the March 2020 quarter and hopes to obtain approvals by the end of next year.

The company has around A$5.2 million cash.

After hitting a 52-week low of 1.2c late last month, Kingston shares jumped 38.5% last week, closing at 1.8c on Friday.