THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Manas Resources (ASX:MSR) has entered into a joint venture agreement with ASX‐listed Central Asia Resources (ASX:CVR) on Central Asia’s 95 per cent‐owned Altyntas gold project.
The Altyntas gold project covers the Altyntas, Kepken and Kengir gold prospects in the Akbakai region of central Kazakhstan, Central Asia.
Location plan of the Altyntas gold project. Source: Company announcement
“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,” Manas Resources managing director Stephen Ross said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“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.”
Under the terms of the joint venture, Manas Resources has the right to earn up to 70 per cent in the project through the expenditure of $2 million on exploration and mine development.
Manas will manage the joint venture and has committed to an initial and immediate expenditure of $0.5 million to test previous drilling on the Altyntas prospect with a RC drilling program.
A decision to commit to the remaining $1.5 million will be made following evaluation of the initial results.
Manas has commenced drilling and exploration work at the Altyntas prospect, which is in close proximity of the operating 1.5 million tonne per annum Akbakai gold mine owned by Kazakhstan gold producer JSC AK AltynAlmas, in the Akbakai gold province.
The two new JV partners both consider Altyntas to potentially provide a low‐cost, near‐term production opportunity via toll treating at the Akbakai gold mine after the confirmation of certain shallow mineralised zones through infill and extensional drilling.
Central Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JSC AK AltynAlmas in June this year, which allows an immediate toll‐treatment opportunity for Altyntas.
The MOU represents the parties’ intention to negotiate a toll‐treatment agreement for the processing of Altyntas ore from Central Asia’s Altyntas, Kengir and Kepken prospects at AltynAlmas’ nearby Akbakai gold plant.
Manas said it had already been in discussions with AltynAlmas, which it dais has welcomed Manas’s involvement and is actively supporting the drilling program.
After the initial confirmatory drill program has been completed, Manas indicated the deeper extensions of the gold mineralisation, which form the bulk of the Altyntas prospect, will be tested in a more extensive drilling campaign after the winter break.
In parallel to the initial drilling at Altyntas, Manas will conduct soil sampling to test the extent of a large, low‐grade oxide gold anomaly at the nearby Kepken prospect.