Lower milled grades saw Shanta post a 14% drop in production in the final quarter. Gold production from the New Luika gold mine in Q4 amounted to 19,550oz - down from 22,726oz in Q3 - bringing total annual volumes to 84,506oz, versus guidance of 80,000-84,000oz.
All in sustaining costs for the quarter averaged $902/oz, a 25% rise quarter on quarter, driven by lower output as well as a $47/oz contribution from its accelerated power station generator refurbishment.
The company was once again at pains to stress the importance of increasing life of mine at New Luika, having said in November its low-cost exploration campaign had likely extended the life of mine at New Luika by one year.
Chief executive Eric Zurrin said "mine life at New Luika continues to be a priority and the board have approved a significantly increased exploration budget for 2020 as we look to upgrade resources and identify new ounces".
Shanta's exploration budget for 2020 stands at US$5 million, a 65% increase on 2019.
The company is poised to publish an updated mineral reserve and resource estimate, which will incorporate results of its latest drilling campaign, in "early 2020".