CNMC Goldmine says unmined gold resources at Sokor mine up 26%

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed CNMC Goldmine Holdings said an annual independent review found its flagship Sokor project in Malaysia's Kelantan state had a resource estimate 914,000 ounces of gold in the ground as at end-Dec 2018, a 26 per cent increase from a year ago.

The review was conducted by Australia-based mining consulting firm Optiro, and is the highest untapped gold resource level recorded since CNMC started exploration at the site in 2007, the company said in a filing during the mid-day trading break on Tuesday (April 2).

CNMC said the increase validates the group's ongoing exploration programme at Sokor to find new mineral resources to replace what had been removed from the ground. In 2018, 31,473 ounces of fine gold were produced, more than double the 14,817 ounces in 2017.

"There is considerable potential remaining in the Sokor Block mining licence to locate additional gold and base metal mineralisation," Optiro said in a 73-page report, which CNMC said also indicated the presence of significant amounts of silver, lead and zinc resources at Sokor as at end-2018. CNMC said it is planning to construct a flotation plant to monetize these base metal resources.

Mr Chris Lim, CNMC's chief executive officer, said: "Optiro's findings reaffirm our conviction that Sokor remains a viable project. This is why we are making plans to increase gold production capacity and for construction of new infrastructure, such as a dedicated national grid power line. These investments will go a long way in driving our production growth and cost reduction efforts in the years ahead."

Optiro report follows guidelines of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, CNMC said.

The Sokor project is currently 81 per cent owned by CNMC, through its subsidiary CMNM Mining Group Sdn Bhd. CMNM holds the rights to mine and produce gold, silver and base metals from an area of approximately 10 square kilometres (sq km) in the Ulu Sokor area in Kelantan.

CNMC also has a Kelgold project, also located in Kelantan and around 30 kilometres northwest of the Sokor mine. It owns a 100 per cent right to explore for gold, iron ore and other minerals over an area of 15.5 sq km for this project. The assessment of the project however is still at an early stage and is currently ongoing, the company said.

Shares of the company traded at S$0.215, down 0.5 Singapore cent, as of 2.12pm.