“As anticipated, this was a 21% decrease on [production of 18 872 oz in] the fourth quarter of last year and is a result of the increased focus on catching up on the previously postponed waste stripping and the resulting lower feed grade during the period,” the company said on Tuesday.
Further to the 76% increase in total material movement achieved between the third and fourth quarters of 2016, material movement continued to increase by an additional 28% during the first quarter of this year to 4.3-million tonnes, of which 351 000 t was ore and 3.94-million tonnes was waste rock.
This represents an increase of 54% in ore production and 27% in waste movement respectively and is a direct result of the operational efficiencies put into place by the management team since taking control of mining operations during the third quarter of last year,” the company said.
The New Liberty process plant operations continued to stabilise throughout the period, with 95% plant utilisation achieved in March.
As a function of this, ore processed during the quarter reached 280 000 t, at a feed grade of 1.97 g/t, with gold recovery levels increasing from 88% in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 90% in in this first quarter of 2017.
“The process plant is now operating in a consistent and stable manner and we remain confident of delivering our production guidance of 90 000 oz to 100 000 oz of gold for the full year,” CEO Serhan Umurhan said.
Source: Mining Weekly