WGM's wide breadth of experience spans the globe. The following projects are just a small sampling of the work we've done in the past 45 years. If there is a commodity type or area of interest to you, please contact us to discover what WGM can offer you.
Also, visit our Downloads page, where you can download highlighted case studies.
- Middle East
Review of Port Loko Bauxite Deposit - Sierra Leone
Global Explorations Ltd. (1991) - Jupiter Export-Import Company Limited ("Jupiter") holds an Exclusive Prospecting Licence on a bauxite project in the Port Loko district of Sierra Leone. First Impression Singles Network ("First Impressions"), a Vancouver Stock Exchange ("VSE") listed company, changed its name to Global Explorations Ltd. ("Global") and entered into an agreement with Jupiter to bring the bauxite project into production.
WGM was retained by First Impressions to provide an assessment of the resources of the Port Loko bauxite deposit. A Senior WGM Industrial Minerals Associate visited the site and assessed its condition, reviewed the geological and technical information, reviewed the current exploration program and made recommendations in a report. This report was required to support an application to the VSE for the acquisition of the Port Loko deposit from Jupiter.
The bauxite deposits occurred in lenses within a series of bands and with either a blocks or fine grained texture. The bauxite showings are extremely heterogeneous in terms of aerial extent, depth and quality. WGM collected random samples of bauxite from pits in three different locations. Due to the marked difference between the analytical data collected by WGM and those obtained by Jupiter, WGM concluded that the deposit was very heterogeneous in nature and that a significant amount of selective mining and blending would be required to produce a marketable product. WGM audited the resources and concluded that the project contained 46 million tonnes of Probable Reserves, 31 million tonnes of Indicated Resources and 27 million tonnes of Inferred Resources. WGM anticipated that much of the Indicated Resource category could be converted to Reserves once the appropriate test work and economic projections were completed.
WGM concluded that the run-of-mine quality of the bauxite was relatively poor in comparison to other bauxites and beneficiation processes would be required to upgrade the product. WGM further concluded that, from the economic analysis done by WGM, the reserves and resources could be mined and processed at a profit and that the capital employed to develop the deposits would be returned.
WGM recommended that Jupiter continue with its 1997/1998 work program. Two recommended additions to the program were trenching across each of the proposed mining blocks and testing of the bulk sample in a pilot plant facility to establish process parameters.
Due Diligence on Diamond Projects - Sierra Leone and Angola
Carson Gold Corporation (1997) - WGM was engaged by Global Management Corporation on behalf of Carson Gold Corporation to carry out a due diligence review of diamond properties in Angola and Sierra Leone held by Branch Energy Limited ("Branch").
Branch documents were reviewed by WGM and Branch personnel. In addition, privately held data from Sierra Leone Selection Trust Limited, National Diamond Mining Company ("Sierra Leone") Limited, the Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola archives and other private and published files were reviewed.
WGM concluded that Branch’s diamond properties in Sierra Leone and Angola are very valuable assets that include two kimberlite complexes, one of which is a pre-development project while the other is an advanced exploration area, four major alluvial pre-development projects, two minor development projects, and one exploration area.
WGM further concluded that the diamond projects have reserves that will yield over 8 million carats and a total potential to produce over 20 million carats. Annual production should peak at over one million carats.
In WGM’s opinion, in order to achieve the annual production forecasts, Carson should place the projects in production in a timely manner accepting, as does WGM, the reserves determined by the major companies which owned the properties in the past.
Neu Schwaben Tourmaline Project - Namibia
Indigo Sky Gems Pty Ltd. (1997) - Indigo Sky Gems (PTY.) Ltd. ("ISG"), a private Namibian gem processing and export company, retained WGM to review the Neu Schwaben tourmaline property in Namibia and prepare a National Policy 2A report. The report will be used to raise financing for the program. The ISG prospecting licences and mining lease should easily have been obtained. However, due to traditional rights, approximately 20% of the surface working area will be allocated to artisanal miners.
The Neu Schwaben property contains widespread tourmaline-bearing pegmatite segregations in granite. The pegmatites are largely covered by residual surficial deposits from which tourmaline has been recovered by artisanal miners. Though tourmaline could be mined in the bedrock, where gemstones occur in pockets, WGM did not consider it practicable to quantify a bedrock resource at the present time. The true exploration target exists if mining the surficial deposits is proved viable.
WGM estimated an inferred resource of surficial deposits and recommended additional sampling for determination of grade, gem quality and recovery and recovery and marketability of by-products. To determine the average grade of in situ eluvial material which, together with dumps from artisanal mining, make up the inferred resource more sampling is required.
A five month trenching to bedrock and sampling program of nine sites was delineated using a stationary 8 t/hr plant. The program will include batch treating the material from each site and determining the grade, thickness, and distribution and quality of the gemstones. A program budget was prepared which included working capital for the purchase of stones from other sources and building a reasonable inventory for successful marketing.
Mineral Sector Technical Assistance Project - Tanzania
Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals (1995) - The United Nations Revolving Fund for Natural Resources Exploration (UNRFNRE) conducted detailed exploration on three gold prospects in Archean greenstone belts in Northern Tanzania. The results of the exploration were positive and the government wished to solicit proposals from companies to conduct further exploration leading to development of the prospects.
WGM provided a consultant to assist the government in the tendering process through preparation of:
- A summary of the technical data on the prospects;
- A summary of the legal and fiscal regime in Tanzania;
- A letter of invitation to tender; and
- Guidelines for the preparation of proposals.
Assistance was also provided to the government through preparation of criteria for the evaluation of proposals, training of government personnel in the evaluation process and assistance in selecting companies to be invited to submit proposals.
Government of Ghana - Mineral Resource Assessment
Government of Ghana, Minerals Commission (1994-1995) - WGM and Geological Management Consultancy Ltd. (Geoman, a Ghanaian consulting firm, were commissioned to conduct a review of all available data on the geology and mineral resources of Ghana. This review was then to form the basis for developing a five year program of activities for the Geological Survey Department (GSD) of Ghana. The objective of the programs would be to stimulate mineral exploration and development in parts of Ghana which had received little prior exploration. A second primary objective of the project was the transfer of knowledge and expertise to Ghanaian personnel. The data review and compilation were completed by Geoman and GSD personnel working under WGM direction. The resulting report was then used to prepare the program recommendations which consisted of: 1) regional geographic mapping, airborne geophysical surveys and geochemical surveys; 2) upgrades to the data management and information dissemination capabilities of the GSD; and 3) promotional activities to be undertaken by the Minerals Commission.
In the course of the project, WGM also completed a review of the organization and programs of the GSD and of the computer hardware and software needs of the Minerals Commission. WGM prepared recommendations for procurement and subsequently oversaw the procurement of a variety of computer hardware and software.
In 1996 the GSD completed airborne geophysical surveys over areas in northwest and southeast Ghana which had been recommended by WGM.
Review of Afema Gold Project - Cote D'ivoire
Eden Roc Minerals Corp. (1993-1995) - The Afema gold project consists of several heap leachable gold deposits which occur along a major structural break known as the Afema shear zone in Cote d'Ivoire and the Bibiani shear zone in neighbouring Ghana. Gold production commenced in 1992 mining continues at 1,000 t/day.
WGM was retained by Eden Roc to prepare a report on the Afema Mine in Cote d'Ivoire to support financing of additional exploration and development costs. In preparing its report published in 1994, WGM was required to audit the ore reserves, analyze the production history of the operation since start-up, review the proposed exploration program and budget, review capital and operating costs and carry out an economic analysis of the project. The report was used to support a public financing of $17 million.
In 1995, WGM reviewed the progress of the 1994 exploration programs and carried out an updated audit of reserves and resources.
Study of Tailings at Yedi - Zaire
Shefford Resources Ltd. (1985) - WGM carried out a sampling program at several tailings sites at some of OKIMO's former producing gold mines in Haut Zaire. Subsequently, a prefeasibility study was completed by WGM, which concluded that the substantial amounts of gold remaining in many of these tailings piles could be recovered profitably at a gold price as low as US $300/oz. WGM then assisted a group of Canadian investors to prepare a proposal to OKIMO to install and operate several tailings treatment units on OKIMO's properties. We then assisted Shefford Resources Ltd. to create a Zairean operating company, consisting of both Zairean and private foreign investors, which would subcontract the tailings treatment operation from OKIMO.
The first project to go into operation would be at the former Yedi mine. WGM has estimated that this site contains 300,000 tonnes of tailings at a grade of over 3.5 g/t (0.10 oz/ton). This is sufficient for 3.5 years of operation at a daily feed rate of 280 tonnes.
Report on Exclusive Prospecting Orders in the Bindura Area - Zimbabwe
Alexander Resources Ltd. (1998) - Alexander Resources International of Calgary, Alberta, has the Mountain View Property in the Bindura region of northeastern Zimbabwe, approximately 75 km north of the city of Harare. WGM was retained by Alexander to assist it to define exploration targets and to prepare a summary report consistent with the guidelines of Canadian National Policy 2-A.
The property is underlain by a sequence of Archean greenstones, sediments and intrusives that form a portion of the Harare-Shamva Greenstone Belt. This suite of rocks is highly similar in composition and stratigraphy to any volcanic terrain within the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Canada or the Yilgarn Block of Western Australia. Several areas of known gold mineralization are present on the property, including the Foot 22 and the Denham 12 claims. Historical sampling of the quartz veins in these areas returned values from background to 99 g Au/t and 25 g Au/t respectively. Several gold mining camps such as Bindura, Shamva, Mazowe, and Enterprise lie to the south and east of the area.
Using mineralization in the above gold camps as exploration models, several targets were outlined by WGM. The selection was based on a combination of favourable geology and airborne magnetic data.
In WGM’s opinion, the property covers very interesting geology and mineralization and warranted further investigation.
Preliminary Assessment on Lac des Iles Mine - Ontario, Canada
North American Palladium (1998-1999) - WGM was retained by North American Palladium to provide an onsite Chief Engineer and Mine Superintendent while seeking a permanent replacement. In addition, we carried out work using Gemcom and Whittle 4D software which resulted in a mine plan for a 3-phase open pit. WGM’s engineers supervised implementation of the plan, including the management of daily engineering requirements, as well as development of procedures for grade control and information reporting. Site personnel were trained in the use of Gemcom to insure timely flow of information to mine operations.
On completion of its assignment, WGM was retained to provide mine engineering, capital cost and manpower requirements as scoping study parameters to determine if an exploration program should be undertaken, to determine if a production expansion should be reviewed.
Preliminary Assessment on Sunrise Lake - NWT, Canada
Hemisphere Development Corp. (1998) - WGM was retained by Hemisphere Development Corp. ("Hemisphere") to prepare a scoping study of the Sunrise Lake polymetallic deposit located 115 km east-northeast of Yellowknife, NWT. The study was based on information supplied by Hemisphere. WGM did not visit the site.
WGM prepared a block model based on 2,200 m of diamond drillhole data. Whittle pit optimization software was applied to the block model to assess the potential to mine the mineralization by open pit methods. The results were negative.
WGM then developed parameters for underground mining by blasthole open stoping methods. Three different sizes of operation were considered, all of which assumed that the ore would be processed by flotation to produce both a zinc concentrate and a silver/lead concentrate. The project required upgrading of approximately 50 km of winter road, an airstrip, an accommodation complex and a diesel power plant.
WGM concluded that the tonnage was insufficient to carry the capital costs of building either an underground or an open pit which will generate a satisfactory rate of return at current metal prices. However, if exploration within trucking distance of Sunrise Lake identified additional resources, then a mine could evolve.
Due Diligence & Project Monitoring - South Dakota, USA
Standard Chartered Australia Ltd. (1988-1994) - WGM was initially retained in August, 1988 to do a due diligence review of the Golden Reward Project in South Dakota, for Standard Chartered Australia Limited (SCAL). SCAL was providing a gold loan to the owners of the project. In May of 1989, we were retained to complete an update of the previous report and to monitor the construction and startup of a heap leach gold operation with a design capacity of 10,000 tons per day.
The monitoring assignment involved regular visits to the site by a WGM senior engineer, development of completion criteria and issuing a certificate of completion. The completion certificate was a requirement of the gold loan agreement between SCAL and the owners and was issued in the summer of 1991.
Subsequently, WGM was requested to continue monitoring the operation on an annual basis throughout the period of repayment of the gold loan. This involved: regular site visits; an annual audit of the ore reserves including a reconciliation with the year's production; and a review of mining and processing operations. We provided letter reports to SCAL after each site visit.
On two occasions, we were requested to provide an opinion on the fair market value of the project. On the first occasion, we were retained by United Coin Mines Limited, one of the owners of the project, to prepare a valuation opinion for internal corporate purposes. This valuation was completed in the summer of 1990. On the second occasion, we were requested by SCAL to provide an opinion on the valuation of the project to ensure that the value of the project exceeded that of the gold loan. This valuation was completed in the winter of 1994.
Our assignment from SCAL was completed when the present owners made the final payment on the gold loan.
Preliminary Feasibility Study of the Cerro Colorado Project - Panama
PanaCobre S.A. (1996-1997) - PanaCobre S.A. (PanaCobre), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiomin Resources Inc. obtained exploration and exploitation concessions of the Cerro Colorado copper deposit in western Panama.
PanaCobre contracted a Consortium of Kilborn International Inc. and WGM ("Kilborn-WGM") to manage the drilling and metallurgical testing program and prepare capital and operating cost estimate for the development of the supergene orebody. Kilborn-WGM were later directed to update the previous primary sulphide studies using the latest technology and up-to-date costs.
The overall objective of the prefeasibility report was to conceptually explore the best means of exploiting the Cerro Colorado deposit and provide PanaCobre with the data necessary to make a decision to continue into the feasibility phase of the project. WGM directed the supergene drilling program, prepared samples for column leaching, developed a block model of the deposit, calculated resource and developed capital and operating costs for the exploitation of the supergene and sulphide deposits.
Exploration Program on Lik Deposit - Alaska, USA
GSO Minerals Company and Houston Oil and Minerals (1975-1980) - WGM served as Operator for a joint venture which involved geochemical and geological reconnaissance of four large regions of the Brooks and Alaska Ranges. In excess of 20,000 samples were collected during the course of this program.
Reconnaissance of the DeLong area was initiated in September 1975, in response to a United States Bureau of Mines announcement on the Red Dog prospect. The Lik property and 5,000 other claims were staked by WGM in 1976 during follow-up of a geochemical (stream sediment) anomaly on adjacent government controlled land. The presence of massive sulphides was demonstrated during a modest drilling program in 1977.
Subsequently, a major drilling program was undertaken by WGM on behalf of the joint venture, and a deposit was delineated with reserves of 25 million tons, and a grade of 9% zinc, 3.9% lead and 1.4 oz/t silver. Additional work included a preliminary feasibility study, transportation studies and environmental/land studies.
Valuation of Franco-Nevada Properties - USA
Euro-Nevada Mining Corporation Ltd. (1988) - Euro-Nevada Mining Corporation was formed in 1987 to acquire, from Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation Limited, all its non-producing assets. The interests to be acquired included 76 patented and 1,251 unpatented gross claims distributed in 26 main groups encompassing an area of approximately 26,000 acres in the states of California, Utah and Nevada.
WGM was retained by Euro-Nevada to determine a value for those properties owned by Franco-Nevada for sale to Euro-Nevada. Key properties were visited by WGM's senior geologists and data was collected. All information was reviewed and verified and an opinion was given as to the Fair Market Value of the assets. A report was prepared to Ontario Securities Commission Standards and Euro-Nevada was subsequently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Fairness Opinion and Valuation of Gold Properties - Brazil
Black Swan Gold Mines Ltd. (1998) - WGM carried out an independent valuation of the Brazilian mineral property interests and other assets of Sul América Mineração Ltda. (“SAM”) and associated companies (which were 100% owned by Black Swan Gold Mines Limited) on behalf of Black Swan.
Black Swan required the valuation of the assets to assist it to determine the fairness of a proposed transaction. The valuation was carried out according to the guidelines of the Australian VALMIN Code and the Ontario Securities Commission Policy Statement 9.1
The assets were all located in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil and consisted of properties with exploration potential for gold and/or diamond mineralization. The SAM assets, other than the mineral properties, included mobile equipment, various exploration equipment and stores, drilling consumables, computers and office equipment contained either at the main office in Ouro Preto or at the field office at Cata Preto, both in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Other assets included in the valuation were the value of the Black Swan’s listing on the Toronto and Vancouver Stock Exchanges; the SAM exploration organisation; and, the shares of the Brazilian Mineral Exploration Company, Diamantes de Paraguaçu S.A.
All of the mineral properties consisted of undeveloped exploration lands and ranged from properties on some of which significant exploration work had been carried out, to others on which known mineral showings of potential economic interest existed but had received limited exploration, to other properties without exploration but held because of their geological setting and grass-roots exploration potential. A small number of properties were also held because of their proximity to mines operated by other parties.
WGM reviewed the available information on the various properties and made field examinations of the more significant properties. WGM also reviewed a valuation prepared, in 1996, by Micon International Ltd.
Since the Micon valuation, the mineral industry had experienced a market decrease in the availability of funds for junior mining companies. As a result, WGM, after its review of the information, selected the Appraised Value Method and the Comparable Transaction Analysis (CTA) as the most appropriate methods to value the individual properties, or groups of properties. This selection was based on WGM’s worldwide experience in mineral property valuation and its knowledge of recent comparable transactions. The CTA transactions were identified by WGM’s in-house database of transactions in the mining industry.
Feasibility Study on Lost River Tungsten - Alaska, USA
Lost River Mining Corporation Ltd. (1972-1974) - Following the preparation of a preliminary feasibility study, WGM was retained to carry out a final feasibility study on this fluorite-tin-tungsten deposit located west of Nome, Alaska. This included choosing a large team of engineering consultants to investigate all facets of the proposed production operation and complete infrastructure facilities. In addition, WGM was responsible for metallurgical testing and flowsheet designs, as well as in-house market studies, shipping studies, computerized ore reserves and open pit design, financial evaluation, and preparation of an environmental impact statement. Financing discussions to put the property into production took place, based on these studies.
Review of Eastern Project - Russia
Lanta Bank (1998) - Lanta Bank (“Lanta”) has entered into a joint venture agreement with the Co-Operative of Prospectors - Amur to explore for bedrock gold deposits in the west-central Khabarovsk Krai region of eastern Siberia. The nine license areas total 10,000 square kilometres and cover alluvial deposits which have been mined for over 60 years. The alluvial deposits will soon be worked out, but significant deposits of vein, skarn and manto-type gold deposits had been found as of WGM engagement. These are believed to have been the source of the placer gold.
WGM was retained by Lanta to prepare a National Policy 2A report which would be suitable in support of financing, as well as providing support for listing a new Canadian company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The gold mineralization occurs in flat-lying late Proterozoic sediments intruded by Cretaceous alkaline stocks. An extensive exploration program was completed during 1995-1997, together with underground development and the construction of two small gravity concentrators. The plants operated only during the summer months because of the cold weather and lack of water characteristic of the winter period. The capacity of the plants was about 150 tpd., but enlargement of the plants to 500 tpd. was contemplated if sufficient resources could be developed. Vat leach facilities were also being installed at the time of WGM’s involvement with the project.
About 75% of the land area remains to be explored. WGM assessed the exploration potential in areas near the known deposits and assessed the current resource estimates. WGM made recommendations involving a staged 3-year exploration program and presented Lanta with an budget estimate.
Resource Review of the Koktasjal Porphyry Deposit - Kazakhstan
Ursa Major International Inc. (1997) - WGM was retained by Ursa Major Inc. ("Ursa") in March of 1997 to conduct a phased program to estimate the resources of the Koktasjal porphyry copper deposit in Kazakhstan.
The scope of work included:
- Data compilation;
- Preliminary summary and statistics;
- Initial compositing, plotting and geological interpretation;
- Digitizing mineralized boundaries and structures;
- First pass sectional resource calculation; and,
- Final set of sections showing desired parameters and outlines.
WGM’s resource estimate was presented to Ursa in a formal report format consistent with National Policy 2A guidelines. A drilling program was proposed by WGM to increase the confidence in the resource estimate and to allow WGM to subsequently re-categorize inferred resources into the indicated category.
Preliminary Feasibility Study - Uzbekistan
Oxus Resources Corporation (1998) - WGM carried out a preliminary feasibility study on the Khandiza lead, zinc, copper, silver deposit in southeast Uzbekistan for Oxus Resources Corporation (“Oxus”). The scope of WGM’s assignment included: reviewing the resource estimate and producing a reserve estimate; supervision of the metallurgical testwork and flowsheet development; underground mine design and mine planning; an environmental review; estimating all operating and capital costs for the mine and production facilities; a concentrate transportation and marketing study; a metals price estimate and a financial analysis.
Khandiza is a classic volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposit within a sequence of Visean submarine sediments, rhyolitic volcanics and pyroclastics which are capped by barren, post-mineralization dacites. Mineralization consists mainly of exhalative/syngenetic massive sulphides which occur at various horizons within a sequence of rhyolitic volcanics and volcaniclastics. Each massive sulphide unit appears to have its own footwall/feeder stockwork system. At Khandiza, nine massive sulphide lenses occur towards the top of the rhyolites which, overall, extend over a strike of 1,200 m and down-dip for 750 m. The dip of the mineralized zones varies from 10 to 60 degrees, averaging 40 degrees. As part of the preliminary feasibility study program, WGM reviewed an independent block model estimate of the tonnage and grade of the nine orebodies or mineralized zones comprising the Khandiza deposit.
WGM supervised metallurgical work carried out at Lakefield Research Ltd. on three samples of ore taken from Adit No. 10. The laboratory test procedure consisted of a primary grind followed by flotation of a copper-lead concentrate; fine regrinding and cleaner flotation of the copper-lead concentrate; and rougher and cleaner flotation of zinc from the copper-lead tailings. Following completion of the initial study, further testwork was recommended, including pilot testing. WGM’s mine design and production estimates had to incorporate approximately 19 km of underground lateral development in a number of adits at different elevations, the result of exploration programs carried out from 1970 to 1974. A wide variety of illustrations was produced by the WGM design team or adapted for use in the study. Report production was performed in-house by WGM’s experienced staff. The report was translated into Russian for presentation to the State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Review of Exploration Potential - Myanmar
Indochina Goldfields (1994 - 1995) - During July 1994, WGM was retained by Indochina Goldfields Ltd. (“IGL”) to carry out a review of the Monywa Copper Project in the west-central part of the Union of Myanmar. Four large porphyry-type copper deposits had been identified. At that time, the four deposits contained Indicated Resources of 247 million tonnes. One of the deposits had been in production since 1985. A mining and flotation concentrating facility was then being operated by No. 1. Mining Enterprise of the Union of Myanmar at the Sabetaung site at a production rate of about 1 million tonnes of ore per year.
WGM prepared an overall assessment of the potential of the properties and provided IGL with its opinion of the cost and time to develop the necessary data to a level suitable for project financing. The viability of using heap leaching SX-EW to produce cathode copper was examined. In order to complete this assessment, WGM undertook the following activities:
- Review current resources and reserves;
- Evaluate the potential for additional reserves and resources;
- Propose an exploration program to confirm reserves;
- Propose a feasibility study program; and
- Develop preliminary estimates of capital and operating costs to convert from a conventional crushing, grinding and flotation recovery process to heap leach - solvent extraction - electrowinning (HL-SX-EW).
During February 1995, IGL requested that WGM undertake a review of the work completed since August 1994. A WGM senior geological engineer made a second visit to the property in March 1995 to acquire the data necessary to complete this report. The engineer inspected surface and plant facilities; visited the core sampling and sample preparation facilities; reviewed diamond drilling procedures, metallurgical sampling techniques and metallurgical testing programs, as well as hydrological, geotechnical and environmental data.
The results of the study were presented in a report that was prepared in accordance with National Policy 2A standards and suitable for use by IGL for financing purposes.
Remote Sensing and GIS Compilation - Indonesia
International Pursuit Corporation (1996) - WGM was retained by International Pursuit Corporation (“IPC”) to procure and interpret RadarSAT images covering its extensive land holdings in West, Central and East Kalimantan, Indonesia. These provided raw terrain imagery, which WGM then processed to develop geometrically corrected images on which were overlain (draped) scale-matched digital geology and geochemical survey data.
The composited images were presented to IPC in a MapInfo digital format to which local IPC management then added up-dated information from geochemical and geophysical databases. This multi-layered approach was very useful from the standpoint of maintaining the currency of compiled information thus enabling local personnel to respond quickly to corporate initiatives whether relating to financing or public disclosures.
As a by-product of this presentation, WGM also produced geometrically corrected topographic contour maps that were more accurate with respect to latitude and longitude co-ordinates than local topographic survey maps. These were useful as working bases for field crews. As site-specific, GPS-derived co-ordinates and elevations became available, these maps could be reproduced with ever greater geometric accuracy.
Audit and Mineral Resource Estimate - Papua New Guinea
Madison Enterprises Corporation (1998) - Madison Enterprises Corp. (“Madison”) holds several exploration licences which cover the Mt. Kare area in the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The Mt. Kare gold-silver deposit is located about 15 km SW of the Porgera Mine presently operated by Placer Dome. Over the past decade, researchers have underscored the similarities between mineralization at Mt. Kare and Porgera. Although the geological similarities extend even to very fine detail, perhaps the single most important element is that both deposits are situated within the Porgera Transfer Structure, a major arc-normal wrench fault which crosses much of PNG.
Madison retained WGM to carry out a technical audit of the Mt. Kare Project and to estimate the gold, silver and equivalent gold resource of the deposit using 3D block modeling. At the request of Madison’s joint venture partner, an Australian company, all reports had to be prepared in compliance with the Australian JORC code for the reporting of reserves and resources. In addition to this, Madison required that the report meet the requirements laid out in Canadian National Instrument 43-101, the successor to National Policy 2A.
WGM visited Madison’s Vancouver office for consultations with technical personnel and to review project documents. Following this, WGM carried out a site visit where exploration techniques and security procedures were evaluated, with particular emphasis on the geological model and drill core sampling. A set of 97 check samples were collected by WGM for corroborative analysis using an independent accredited laboratory of WGM’s own choosing. WGM compared analytical data and freely carried out more rigorous follow-up analyses. Its conclusions were stated in the report, and recommendations were made as to how certain techniques could be improved.
A WGM Gemcom specialist also visited the Vancouver office to discuss the resource estimate with Madison personnel. WGM was given diamond drillhole, geological, specific gravity and assay databases in digital format. WGM verified the data and imported it into its Gemcom software for block modeling. After developing and applying geological constraints to the metal values, as well as developing search parameters, WGM produced resource estimates at three cut-off grades using cut and uncut assays.
Subsequent to delivery of its formal, illustrated report to Madison, WGM supported Madison with summaries which were presented to security regulators and used in support of Madison’s public disclosures. WGM also met with Madison’s joint venture partner to explain its findings and to discuss its resource estimation techniques. WGM continues to update the Mt. Kare resource estimate from time to time in a highly cost-effective manner.
Project Management - Lao Gold Phapon Project - Laos
Lao Gold Company Ltd. (1997) - During early 1997, WGM was retained by Lao Gold Company Ltd. ("LGC") to carry out a technical project review of its Phapon Mountain Project located in the northern part of Laos. During August, 1997, the project encountered various technical challenges. WGM was subsequently retained to manage certain components of the required exploration. WGM’s tasks, which complemented its earlier assignment, included:
- Equipment procurement, staffing and training of local geologists;
- Geological mapping and geochemical sampling;
- Technical input concerning the use of locally available services including assaying and drilling;
- Sub-contracting of diamond drilling; and
- The development of a long-term exploration strategy for the project.
The Phapon Mountain Project was one of the most advanced hard rock exploration/development projects in Laos. At Phapon Mountain, LGC was operating a small open pit gold mine together with heap leach pads and a pilot plant resin leachate facility. Gold mineralization at Phapon Mountain Project occurs in shear zones within the sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Indosinian fold belt. The property lies just west of a major regional tectonic break, the Thai Nan-Uttaradit suture. The suture juxtaposes the NNE-trending, late Permian Indosinian Luang Prabang fold belt to the west against relatively older, medial-Carboniferous Hercynian fold belt rocks lying to the east.
WGM supplied an Associate Geologist to the project who remained on-site for three months. He was under the direct supervision of a Senior Associate Geologist who divided his time between LGC responsibilities and other work which was carried out in Indonesia and the Philippines. WGM instituted logistical changes to the project which ensured the free and timely flow of information from the field to LGC’s corporate offices. WGM geologically mapped the property and performed a supervisory role with respect the some of the geochemical surveying. We had the portable laboratory shut down and instituted a sampling program which used accredited laboratory in Manila. Obsolete drilling equipment was removed from the site. As a relative late-comer to the project, WGM had to implement these changes in an environment of great personal sensitivity without causing unnecessary discord.
Technical Due Diligence of Gold Copper Properties - Papua New Guinea
Indo Pacific Resources Ltd. (1998) - WGM was retained by Indo Pacific Resources Ltd. (“IndoPac”) to complete an independent review of its mineral exploration properties in Papua New Guinea (“PNG”), and to produce a report consistent with Canadian National Policy 2-A guidelines with the understanding that that report would be used to support a public financing and possible listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. At the time, IndoPac had one of the largest mineral holdings in PNG including a 100% interest in ten exploration licenses, a 50% interest in two exploration licenses and one licence application.
Most of the properties were gold and/or copper prospects at early to moderate stages of exploration. All of the properties had at least undergone reconnaissance exploration work, which generally included stream sediment, rock float chip sampling and pan concentrate geochemical sampling along drainages. Several of the properties were at a more advanced stage of exploration with limited trenching and/or drilling (including the West New Britain and Strickland Gorge Properties on which IndoPac had completed some diamond drilling).
WGM reviewed property data and proposed work programs for 13 IndoPac properties in PNG. All 13 indicated precious metal and/or base metal potential and warranted further exploration. IndoPac’s programs were generally designed to outline drill targets and to initiate diamond drilling on most of the properties.
WGM identified certain properties which we believed had greater mineral potential and recommended that they be considered as high priority exploration areas. WGM made specific recommendations to Indo Pacific regarding systematic programs to evaluate the mineral potential of its properties.
Review of Clontibret Gold Prospect - Ireland
Conroy Diamonds and Gold Plc (1996) - Conroy Diamonds and Gold Plc holds five exploration licenses in the Republic of Ireland and two prospecting licenses in Northern Ireland. WGM was retained by Conroy to carry out an independent review of its properties to support financing for exploration and listing on a Canadian stock exchange.
The Conroy licenses are underlain by the Ordovician/Silurian rocks of the Longford Down Inlier, a geological feature that extends to the Southern Uplands of Scotland. These rocks are known to host numerous gold and base metal deposits.
Conroy has identified 36 discrete lode zones with gold and antimony mineralization. These minerals are associated with quartz-carbonate veining within the deformation envelope of the Orlock Bridge Fault. A second style of lower grade mineralization is found within a stockwork zone of intensely altered greywacke. These veins are, in WGM’s opinion, indicative of a significant gold bearing system. WGM concluded that a substantial amount of drilling was warranted to assess the Clontibret Prospect resources.
A two year drilling exploration program was prepared by Conroy to target the Clontibret Prospect. A regional exploration program is also planned to test nearby areas within the Conroy licenses in which there have been interesting gold occurrences.
Audit of the Zinkgruvan Mine Mineral Reserves - Sweden
Union Miniere Sverige AB (1994) - The Zinkgruvan zinc-lead-silver mine is located in south-central Sweden about 200 km west-southwest of Stockholm. It is Sweden's most southerly metal mine, and has been in continuous operation for 136 years, since 1857.
Proven and probable mineable reserves in 1994 were 11.4 million tonnes with an average grade of 10.6% Zn, 3.8% Pb and 75 g Ag/t. There are additional resources in the Measured and Inferred categories. In 1993, the mine produced 126,437 tonnes of zinc concentrate grading 56% Zn, and 23,492 tonnes of lead concentrate grading 72% Pb and 1,421 g Ag/t.
WGM was retained to audit the ore reserves and resources in the Zinkgruvan deposit, which consists of the Knalla and Nygruvan mine areas and to present the results of this study in a report to meet the standards of Canadian National Policy 2A. The report was to be submitted to international stock exchanges to support a new listing for Union Minière Sverige AB (Union Minière).
WGM completed an audit of Union Minière's estimates of January 1, 1994. We concluded that the quality of the data used was excellent and had been appropriately applied by Union Minière in completing its estimates. WGM confirmed Union Minière's tonnage and grade estimates for the Zinkgruvan operation. We also reclassified the reserves according to the definitions outlined in the Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, which is an appropriate international standard.
Regional Gold Exploration Project - Scotland
Echo Bay Mines Ltd. (1989-1991) - WGM was requested by Echo Bay to design, manage and execute a gold exploration program over a 7,000 square kilometre area of Scotland. The program covered the Kildonan, Dalradian and Argyll areas. The Kildonan area is noted as the principal gold producing region of Scotland, several placer deposits having been operated there during the 1860s.
Exploration techniques used included till sampling to determine the concentration of gold and pathfinder minerals. This was supplemented by a study conducted by a glacial geologist to determine sediment derivation due to ice movement. Silt samples were collected in all water courses, to seek hydromorphic pathfinder elements such as antimony, bismuth, arsenic, silver, zinc and molybdenum. Lithogeochemistry and VLF-EM methods were used where applicable to define primary alteration dispersion haloes and structural features which could host gold. Aerial photographs were also studied to identify structural lineaments.
The entire region is environmentally sensitive and is a popular area for grouse and deer hunting and salmon fishing. Special precautions were taken to maintain its present state. Vehicles that cause little or no surface disturbance were used and special areas were identified, and avoided, during nesting seasons.
As the vast majority of land is owned as game estates by private land owners, negotiations were held with the individual land owners regarding surface rights, access and mineral lease agreements.
Interim Feasibility Study of the Galmoy Zinc-Lead Project - Ireland
Conroy Petroleum and Natural Resources Plc (1988-1991) - The Galmoy zinc-lead project is located approximately 110 km southwest of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. WGM was retained by Conroy Petroleum and Natural Resources Plc. (Conroy), a public company registered in Ireland. Two mineralized zones were outlined on the property.
WGM was engaged to complete an interim feasibility study of the project and to assist with the final feasibility study. An independent calculation of ore reserves was carried out and a preliminary mine and process design was developed to demonstrate that the reserves could be mined and processed at a profit. An estimate of capital and operating costs was also made. A report on the ore reserves was also prepared as part of the final feasibility study which formed the basis for the detailed mine planning and scheduling studies which followed. The report was submitted to the London Stock Exchange. An important component of the ore reserve study were geotechnical and hydrogeological studies.
In the course of this work, WGM senior geologists and engineers visited the site and Conroy's offices in Dublin on several occasions. During these visits drill core was examined, drill hole and assay data was reviewed and discussions were held with management and technical personnel.
Due Diligence Study of Mining Assets of Billiton International Metals BV
Union Bank of Switzerland (1993-1994) - In 1993 Hatch Associates Ltd formed a joint venture which included WGM and Kilborn to undertake jointly a critical technical review of the assets of Billiton International Metals on behalf of Union Bank of Switzerland. UBS ultimately arranged funding for Gencor Limited to complete the purchase of the Billiton mining assets for US$1.219 billion. WGM geologists evaluated mineral sand, nickel, copper, lead-zinc and precious metal projects in South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Ghana and Brazil. This due diligence study evaluated the historical performance, the current and future operating risks, future investments required and the long term competitiveness of each of the operations
At each mine site, WGM carried out an audit or an in-depth review of the reserves and resources. This involved a determination of the quality of data, an assessment of the geological model, a review of the local geology and an assessment of the potential for future discovery of more ore.
The feasibility of the development of each of the exploration projects over the next few years was reviewed as was the impact of the exploration projects on cash flows over the same period.
Review of Albbaker Ore Deposits and Mining Operations - Albania
Nebex Resources Ltd. (1996) - Nebex Resources Ltd. acquired the exploration and mining rights to a 400 square kilometres concession covering the Mirdita copper mining area in Albania. This concession excluded the operating mines and areas with defined resources.
Nebex retained WGM to carry out an independent review of the ore reserve and mining operations on the excluded areas which, in 1996, were being exploited by Albbaker, the State copper mining organization. The principal objective of the review was to determine which part of the mining operations would be of most interest to Nebex as an investment opportunity.
The review was preliminary in nature due to the large number of mines involved and the absence of solid records. However, WGM clearly confirmed that the undeveloped Munelle deposit and surrounding area was the location with the best potential. WGM concluded that: a) the drilling of the Munelle deposit did not appear to be complete, leading to the possibility that only a portion of the deposit had been defined; and b) further drilling was necessary to extend the reserves and establish the character of the ore for mining purposes. At the time of our review, WGM estimated that there were 3 million tonnes of mineable ore in the main part of the deposit.
WGM recommended that: the ore should be tested for copper and gold recovery before committing to any large expenditures; the adit size should be evaluated to determine if it is adequate for the production scale envisioned; and the surrounding area should be explored by more widely spaced drill holes and down-hole EM surveys.
Assessment of Exploration Potential - Czech Republic
Harrison Group of Companies (1994-1995) - In the years just prior to 1994, the Czech Republic had been rapidly instituting national policies to facilitate its integration into the western European economy. Under this new political and economic environment, the Harrison Group of Companies went to seek mining opportunities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Harrison retained WGM to review the exploration potential of five gold properties in the Czech Republic, to inspect available process facilities and to prepare an independent report for financing purposes.
All five properties are located in the central part of the Bohemian highland plateau, southeast of Prague in an area of historical gold production. Proven and probable reserves of commercial grade were outlined at the Roudny, one of the properties examined by WGM.
WGM prepared reports which indicated a viable operation could result from the development. Reserve potential was considered excellent.
Gol-E-Gohar Iron Ore Project - Iran
Acres Davy McKee (1984-1994) - WGM was retained by Acres Davy McKee ("ADM") to provide assistance in the design management and technical operation of a large iron ore mine in Iran. Our initial assignment was to assist with the estimation of the ore reserves and with mine planning.
Reserve estimation for the Gol-e-Gohar deposit presented unique problems. Three types of ore were identified, each with specific chemical and physical properties. Phosphorus and sulphur also occurred in the ore. Total reserves were estimated to be approximately 150 million tonnes grading 56% Fe, 17% FeO, 0.16% P and 1.85% S. Mine scheduling was particularly complicated because it was important to deliver a suitable blend of ore to the plant. Mine planning and reserve estimation was done using GEMCOM software.
Subsequent to the initial consulting assignment, Berne Jansson remained at the operation as Mine Manager with overall responsibility to the Iranian Managing Director for Mine Construction and Operation. This assignment involved supervision of mine planning, training of personnel, preparation of short and long term production plans, estimation of finished product quality, development of production control systems for mine and processing departments and start-up of the mine operation. Dino Basso was retained as Pit Superintendent.
Feasibility Study on Al Masane Project - Saudi Arabia
Arabian Shield Development Company (1993-1994) - In 1993, WGM was retained by Arabian Shield Development Company (ASDC) to update its previous feasibility study on the Al Masane Cu-Zn-Au-Ag deposits located in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
ASDC rediscovered the Al Masane ancient workings in 1967 and was granted an exploration licence in 1971. Geophysical and geochemical surveys, surface and underground drilling and metallurgical testing culminated in a positive feasibility study by WGM in 1982. During this study WGM supervised the construction of the exploration camp and the program of 3,700 m of underground diamond drilling.
Following the issuing of a mining licence in 1993, ASDC retained WGM to update this 1982 feasibility study on the Al Masane deposits, concentrating on reducing capital costs and improving the metallurgical recoveries by implementing improved technologies. To improve the economics of the project WGM suggested using semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) and recent developments in reagents to improve metal recoveries.
Diluted, mineable proven and probable reserves of 7,212,000 tonnes grading 1.42% Cu, 5.31% Zn, 1.19 g Au/t and 40.30 g Ag/t have been estimated by WGM. A production rate of 700,000 tonnes per year is envisaged.
WGM recommended that ASDC bring the Al Masane mine into production. WGM also recommended an ongoing exploration program with emphasis on nearby gossans and geochemical anomalies to increase the resources and extend mine life.
Institutional Strengthening and Mineral Exploration - Yemen
Geological Survey and Minerals Board (1991-1994) - Following an international competition, WGM was selected to implement and manage programs to strengthen the institutional capabilities of the Yemen Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Board (“MEB”), an independent body within the Yemen Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources. Focal points of the project included the administrative, support, technical and investment departments of the Board. WGM’s tasks included:
- Training in feasibility studies;
- Economic evaluations using the Jabali Deposit as a model;
- A laboratory audit and training in laboratory management;
- The establishment of a fully networked Computer Department with various staff training programs;
- A resource evaluation of the Wadi Medden Gold Deposit;
- Publishing a technical guidebook of the Wadi Medden Gold Deposit, and a comprehensive review entitled the ‘Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Republic of Yemen’;
- Field training in regional geochemical exploration and prospecting;
- Training in administration and accounting; English language, mines inspections and safety practices;
- Training in compiling and reviewing comprehensive geological and airborne geophysical exploration data;
- The drafting of model prospecting, exploration and exploitation agreements to be included in the Mining Regulations; and
- Investment promotion.
WGM’s tasks were carried out in a close mentoring environment with Yemeni ‘counterpart’ MEB personnel to ensure the transfer of necessary skills. Training of MEB geologists and other staff was a vital and successful element of the project. On-the-job training was stressed as increasing responsibilities were given to Yemeni staff as the program progressed. Selected geologists were assigned to formal training sessions in Canada for laboratory management, airborne geophysics interpretation and economic evaluation of mining projects.
Activities designed to attract foreign companies to invest and explore in Yemen were also important. This included the production of a brochure for the Wadi Medden Gold Deposit which illustrated the potential of the project and for additional discoveries in the surrounding area. The brochure was successful in attracting private capital for further exploration and evaluation of the Medden Deposit. WGM’s efforts resulted in the signing of additional licences covering four little explored areas in the Yemen Proterozoic Shield and the Tertiary Volcanic Province.
Underground Development Project - Saudi Arabia
Arabian Shield Development Company (1979-1982) - The project involved planning the size and location of underground workings relative to the ore zones; estimation of drilling requirements; selection and purchase of appropriate equipment; hiring of personnel; transportation of equipment, supplies and personnel to the site; and construction of support facilities, including camps, powder magazine, powerhouse, garage, core storage, and water treatment facilities. Prior to the commencement of operations, the deposits were interrelated by survey, the final position for the workings was determined, and survey control for the mining was established. The mine workings were surveyed and mapped, the core logged and sampled, and maps, sections and reports of this data prepared. Three bulk samples were taken for metallurgical testing, and topographic surveys were made of potential concentrator sites, tailings areas and ore outcrops. A feasibility study completed the project.
WGM received Honourable Mention at the 1982 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards for the underground development portion of the project, which featured the successful use of state-of-the-art drilling and haulage equipment in a relatively remote area.
Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada 1982. Canadian Consulting Engineering Award - Watts, Griffis and McOuat Limited, Honorable Mention for the Al Masane mining project in Saudi Arabia.