Vatukoula Gold Mines, the Fijian gold producer, announced today the initial results from its exploration programme targeting an economic resource suitable for surface mining. The report shows it has identified multiple mineralised structures, producing grades of up to 6.57 grammes per tonne.

Vatukoula Gold Mines is an established, AIM-listed company operating on the main island of Fiji. The mine has been in operation for over 70 years and has produced over 7 million ounces of gold in that time. In September 2009, Vatukoula announced it had begun a 10 hole diamond drilling exploration program near the Korowere Hill area. The Company reported that the initial drilling found multiple mineralised structures around old surface, specifically in the area around President Dyke where mineralisation was open along strike and depth. 

As well as the drilling program, Vatukoula annouced that the historical surface mapping and drill intercepts would be used to develop an exploration program which would outline the extent of the mineralisation in that area. This outline would help the Company estimate a Mineral Resource, and possibly a Mineral Reserve, for the oxidised mineralisation. 

David Paxton, CEO of Vatukoula Gold Mines commented - 

"We are pleased with the results of the oxide ore exploration to date which have confirmed management's belief in additional near surface gold mineralisation; if this is proved, and is of sufficient scale and grade, it will add to the production profile of the Mine.”

Providing this surface mapping is successful, Vatakoula states it will review its leases for potential oxidised mineralisation in the wider region. The Company emphasises that the oxide material evaluated within the current exploration program was not included in the Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimate, which was announced on the 13th Jan this year. 

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