Currently viewing Global edition

Pan African lifts gold production

Pan African Resources has increased its gold production for the nine months to March 30 by more than 50% to 123,771 ounces, mostly due to a strong performance at the Barberton underground mine and its tailings retreatment operations.
Pan African lifts gold production Pan African lifts gold production Pan African lifts gold production Pan African lifts gold production Pan African lifts gold production

Pan African's Barberton Mines achieved strong production in the first nine months of the financial year

The Barberton complex produced 72,944oz of gold, up 11.7% year-on-year, including 54,857oz from underground and surface mining operations and 18,087oz from the Barberton tailings retreatment plant.  
 
Pan African said its Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant processed 6.9 million tonnes over the September-March period, at a recovered grade of 0.135g/t, with 29,881oz of gold sold. 
 
"As previously communicated, the incorporation of the historical Evander tailings retreatment plant's throughput of 200,000t per month into Elikhulu was completed in December 2018, which increased Elikhulu's processing capacity to 1.2 million tonnes per month," the company said.
 
It reported an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of under US$600 per ounce at Elikhulu, lower than previously anticipated.
 
Evander Mines' remnant mining and surface sources also contributed 20,946oz for the nine-month period, up from 16,432oz a year ago.
 
CEO Cobus Loots said profitable and sustainable ounces at Elikhulu had replaced those from Evander's loss-making underground operations. 
 
"We continue to optimise Elikhulu, which delivered a throughput of 1.3Mt in March 2019, 100,000t above the name plate capacity. The focus is now on maximising sustainable margins," he said.
 
Loots added that Pan African was on track to meet its full-year gold production guidance of 170,000oz and set guidance for the 2020 financial year at 185,000oz due to Elikhulu producing at a steady state and the incremental contribution from Evander's Pillar operation.

Pan African also started the development and equipping of Evander Mines' 8 Shaft Pillar during the period, with first gold expected in August and its contribution expected to be an additional 20,000-30,000oz per annum for three years, at an AISC of around $900/oz. 

"The operation will be mined by a specialised and experienced independent contractor given the nature of pillar mining," Loots said.
 
The company also decided not to pursue the Barberton Mines' Royal Sheba project on a stand-alone basis after completing extensive feasibility work.
 
"The existing Barberton Mines' processing plant infrastructure can be upgraded to process ore from this orebody. The benefits of this approach is the ability to expedite the environmental licencing process, shorten the timeline to production, enhance returns from mining this orebody and negate the requirement for external capital funding," he said. 
 
Pan African's shares (AIM:PAF) rose 2.07% Friday to 9.84p (US12.58c), also up from 8.8p at the start of the year.