Deccan Gold strikes it rich

Our Commodities Bureau / Mumbai, Business Standard, 07 April 2004 :

Deccan Gold Mines Limited, the first private sector gold exploration company listed on the BSE, has commenced drilling activity at Dharwad Shimoga basin and has encountered excellent intersections at depths of 42-45 metres producing gold grades in the range of 2g/t (2 gms per tonne of ore) up to a high of 13.94 g/t and averaging 3.9g/t, the company said today.

A 400m long mineralised strike zone has emerged as a result of this preliminary drilling. Upon completion of this activity, further detailed drilling will be undertaken to determine the true dimensions of the ore body containing gold.

Charles Devenish, chairman of Deccan Goldmines, said, “These early results are extremely positive and indicate a strong possibility for an open cast gold mine similar to the type of gold mines operating in Australia today.”

According to Sandeep Lakhwara, director of Deccan Goldmines, “Post-rights issue, drilling activity has been ramped up significantly. The Dharwad Shimoga block, with its potential for an open pittable mine, has given good results. An open pittable mine can become feasible with gold grades of around 2.9 g/t. Our results to date, although preliminary, have yielded an average gold grade of 3.9g/t in some intersections, and therefore must be considered encouraging enough to undertake further detailed studies in the area.”

Deccan Gold took up drilling in Dharwad Shimoga on the advice of the company’s chief consulting geologist, Dr Vasudev, head the geological team operating in the area. A variety of geological studies have been undertaken. Deccan Gold would work at the site to substantiate the good results obtained from the initial studies.

Deccan Gold would soon take up drilling at the North Hutti basin, located north of India’s only operating gold mines. The gold reefs presently being mined by Hutti Gold Mines Ltd were expected to extend to the area under Deccan Gold’s North Hutti prospect.

Vince Roberts, a senior exploration geologist from Australia, would soon be joining the Deccan Gold team. Roberts has over 39 years experience in gold and nickel exploration in Australia, Fiji, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Yemen, Brazil, USA and South Africa. He will be based in Bangalore. His will oversee exploration activities and lead feasibility studies to determine mining economics.