Intec Commercialization Trial Testing Program (the "Intec Program")
As mining enters the oxide/sulphide transition zone, the Selinsing gold processing plant is no longer treating high grade high recovery oxide ores, but lower grade leachable sulphide ores. Refractory sulphide mineralization will require different treatment to sustain gold production. A bioleach plant was recommended by the May 2013 NI 43-101 report to treat sulfide materials that could achieve satisfactory recoveries. Due to a high upfront investment, the R&D program is pursuing other better treatment alternatives targeting lower capital investment.
In February 2015, the Company has been granted an interim license ("Interim License") from Intec International Projects Pty Ltd ("Intec"), under which Monument has the right to exploit and test the Intec Technology in respect of both copper and gold processes, and to use Selinsing Gold Process Plant as an alpha site. Subject to success of the trial commercialization test work and certain conditions, Monument will obtain the license rights (the "Intec License") to exploit the Intec Technology in respect to an agreed territory which covers most of South East Asia, including Malaysia, Australia and China.
The Intec Technology is under several registered patents and is a hydrometallurgical process using a mixed halide lixiviant for the extraction of pure copper, precious metals and associated metals from sulphide concentrates. Management of Monument is of the view that the Intec Technology, among other alternatives, might provide an economic solution to treat sulphide materials through Monument's Selinsing Gold Plant and for other gold projects.
The commercialization trial testing program is scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2016 and if successful, the sulphide ore will be concentrated and treated through an Intec circuit to be added to the Selinsing Gold Plant which the Company is targeting for the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Together with remaining oxide material, Monument is expecting to maintain sustainable gold production at the Selinsing Gold Mine until fiscal 2020 for a further 5 years of potential production, without accounting for any future exploration success in the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef projects.