LONDON (Alliance News) - Avesoro Resources Inc on Tuesday said its flagship New Liberty gold mine in Liberia continued to experience an improvement in both mining and processing operations in the first three months of 2017 as management continue to turnaround its operations.
Avesoro, previously named Aureus Mining, said total gold production in the first three months of 2017 was 14,096 ounces, "aligned with expectations" and previous guidance, the company said.
Full year guidance of 90,000 ounces to 100,000 ounces remains intact, as does the cash cost guidance of USD750 to USD800 per ounce of gold produced, with an all-in sustaining cash cost of USD925 to USD975 per ounce.
For perspective, the miner produced 63,556 ounces of gold in 2016 and spot gold was trading at USD1,256.94 per ounce on Tuesday.
Further to the 76% increase in total material movement achieved between the third and final quarters of 2016, material movement continued to increase by an additional 28% during the latest three-month period to 4.3 million tonnes, of which 351,000 tonnes was ore and 3.9 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 2016. In addition, the run of mine ore stockpile increased by 23,000 tonnes to 142,000 tonnes during the quarter and plant utilisation for March reached 95%," said Avesoro.
"The end of the quarter saw the installation and commissioning of the two new PSA Oxygen plants that will deliver additional oxygen to the process plant, which is expected to improve gold recovery levels and the efficiency of the detoxification circuit," Avesoro added.
The 14,906 ounces produced in the first quarter of 2017 can be compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, when production was 18,872 ounces and the third quarter of 2016, when production was 14,139 ounces.
The production data can also be compared to the first quarter of 2016, when post commercial production resulted in 8,053 ounces being produced over the three months period at a cash cost of USD1,034 per ounce and an all-in sustaining cash cost of USD1,153.
Avesoro said plant utilisation rates in the first quarter of 2017 was 92.3% versus 91.5% in the prior three months. Recovery levels in the quarter averaged 90% versus 87.6% in the previous three months and 89% in the first three months of 2016.
"I am pleased that we have continued to build upon the operational improvements delivered during the second half of 2016 throughout the first quarter of 2017. Although, as expected, gold production for the first quarter of 2017 is lower than that delivered across the final quarter of 2016, total material movement has continued to increase month on month and we are beginning to catch up on the waste shortfall from the first half of 2016," said Chief Executive Serhan Umurhan.
"The process plant is now operating in a consistent and stable manner and we remain confident of delivering our production guidance of 90,000 ounces to 100,000 ounces of gold for the year," he added.
Avesoro shares were up 3.6% on Tuesday at 2.43 pence.
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