ACACIA Mining registered high gold production in quarter four last year beating annual projections of 435,000 to 475,000 ounces.
According to the mining firm’s statement for the fourth quarter 2018 production results released yesterday gold output was 130,581 ounces bringing the annual production to 521,980 ounces.
However, the transitioning of Buzwagi to a stockpile processing operation partly offset by higher gold production at North Mara and Bulyanhulu made the quarter production down by 12 per cent compared to the previous year.
“I am pleased to report that we have achieved gold production of 130,581 ounces for the fourth quarter, bringing our total gold production for the full year to 521,980 ounces. This is substantially ahead of our initial production guidance for the year of 435,000 to 475,000 ounces. I am proud of the resilience, hard work and dedication shown by our people in realising this achievement despite a challenging operating environment,” Acacia Mining Interim Chief Executive Officer Peter Geleta said in a statement.
He added, “Over the last 12 months we have focused on successfully stabilising the business, including a return to free cash flow generation in Q 2, and I am pleased to report that we end the year with a net cash balance of 88 million US dollars.”
Full year production of 521,980 ounces was ahead of expectations for the year, although 32 per cent lower than 2017 due to the transition on reduced operations at Bulyanhulu and to stockpile processing at Buzwagi.
Gold ounces sold for the quarter of 133,460 ounces were slightly higher than production due to the favourable timing of shipments and draw down of finished gold on hand.
Full year gold sales of 520,380 ounces were broadly in line with production. Gold production last year benefitted from the higher grade ore received from the Nyabirama open pit at North Mara, the extended mining of the final cut of the higher grade ore at the bottom of the pit and switchbacks at Buzwagi combined with the better than expected performance of the Buzwagi processing plant with improved throughput and recoveries and the favourable performance from tailings processing at Bulyanhulu.
At North Mara, gold production for the quarter of 84,079 ounces was 17 per cent higher than the prior year of 72,018 ounces, mainly driven by 11 per cent higher head grades due to the higher grade ore received from the eastern part of the Nyabirama open pit.
Buzwagi gold production of 35,880 ounces for Q 4 last year was 51 per cent lower than the prior year of 73,604 ounces as a result of the mine transitioning to primarily a lower grade stockpile processing operation in 2018 in line with its remaining life of mine plan.
Mining of the final cut of higher grade ore remaining at the bottom of the pit and switchbacks was largely completed during the quarter resulting in slightly higher than expected production.
Bulyanhulu produced 10,622 gold ounces for the quarter, above the prior year of 2,855 ounces which was negatively impacted by a drought in the Kahama District, resulting in a temporary halt in the retreatment of tailings in Q 42017.
All production continued to be produced from the retreatment of tailings as a result of the underground mine being placed on reduced operations in late 2017.
The cash balance as at 31 December 2018 amounted to approximately 130 million US dollars representing an increase of approximately 13 million US dollars during the quarter and 50 million US dollars for the year, with net cash increasing to approximately 88 million US dollars.
This article provided by NewsEdge.