Marking its fourth consecutive year of production growth, Aim-listed gold miner Acacia reported strong fourth-quarter production of 212 954 oz for the three months ended December 31.
Production for the quarter was 6% higher than that of the fourth quarter of 2015 and 4% higher than third-quarter production.
CEO Brad Gordon noted that this resulted in record full year production of 829 705 oz, almost 100 000 oz ahead of 2015 and above an already increased guidance.
The increase in production was predominantly driven by higher grades and recoveries at North Mara and increased run-of-mine processing at Bulyanhulu, in Tanzania.
North Mara produced 91 183 oz of gold in the fourth quarter, an 18% increase on the prior-year period as head grade increased by 16% owing to the higher-grade contribution from the Gokona underground mine, as well as an increase in the openpit mine grade at Nyabirama combined with a resultant 3% higher recovery.
At Bulyanhulu, production reached 79 859 oz for the quarter, a 2% increase year-on-year. Production from run-of-mine processing of 70 808 oz was 6% ahead of the fourth quarter of 2015 as head grade increased by 5% owing to an improvement in underground mined grades.
This was in combination with a 3% increase in recovery. However, the increase in run-of-mine production was partly offset by a 20% decrease in production attributable to reprocessed tailings owing to lower head grade and resultant lower recovery, partly offset by higher throughput.
Production at Buzwagi, however, fell by 7% year-on-year to 41 912 oz in the quarter under review, owing to a 14% lower head grade as a result of ore tonnes being sourced predominantly from the lower-grade splay areas as a result of a change in mine sequencing, partly offset by higher throughput as a result of improved plant performance.
Meanwhile, the company also reported a 5% year-on-year increase in gold sold to 209 292 oz for the fourth quarter; however, the ounces sold were 2% lower than production, as a result of logistical delays related to Bulyanhulu concentrate shipments.
The strong operational performance during the quarter led to a further build-up in cash of $16-million, representing an increase of $114-million in net cash during the year.
“We are also pleased to confirm we will extend mining at Buzwagi by six months, and it will now continue until the end of 2017 before at least a further two years of processing stockpiles. As a result, we look forward to another strong year,” said Gordon.
Source: Mining Weekly