Troy Resources has released the results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and scoping study for the mining and treatment of the Smarts and Hicks deposits at its West Omai gold project in Guyana.

The study has estimated that the two open-cut and one underground mine feeding a conventional carbon-in-leach plant with a 750,000t per year capacity, would deliver 633,000oz of gold over a mine life of seven years.

Average yearly gold production is expected to reach about 90,000oz, with production in the first 12 months of 102,000oz of gold.

The project has an initial capital of $86.8m, including pre-production mining costs of $9.3m and contingency of $7m, apart from sustaining capital over the life of mine of $8.6m.

The company said that regional exploration is anticipated to restart this year and the plant would be configured to enable easy-staged expansion to an ultimate capacity of 1.5Mt per annum, should exploration identify sufficient mineralisation to justify such an expansion.

Troy Resources CEO Paul Benson said there is a significant opportunity to grow the resource at West Omai, as the licence was within trucking distance of the plant and over 30 additional exploration targets had already been identified.

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"The site development would follow Troy’s successful strategy of designing a plant with a base throughput suitable for the existing Resource, in this case 750,000t per annum, but which can be expanded quickly and at a low incremental cost to increase throughput if additional resources are discovered," Benson said.

"As Troy has previously done at Sertão and Andorinhas in Brazil, and Casposo in Argentina, we will manage the project in-house and use second-hand plant and equipment, where it makes sense. This formula has allowed us to build plants quickly and at low capital cost in the past and we would expect the same results at West Omai."

Image: Development of Smarts Deposit. Photo: courtesy of Troy Resources.