Since Commercial Production was declared at New Liberty on 1 March 2016, approximately 4,500 ounces of fine gold has been poured and shipped for smelting and refining at the MKS PAMP refinery in Switzerland, with gold production for the calendar year to date now totalling 19,200 ounces, the miner said in a statement.
It said the process plant has continued to operate at a stable run-rate in line with original design specifications, and recovery levels in excess of 90% continue to be achieved.
“Now that the Company has declared Commercial Production and steady state plant operations have been achieved, future production guidance will be communicated on a quarterly basis,” the statement said.
Mining operations at New Liberty continue to focus on both the Kinjor and Larjor pits and excavation work continues to focus on the completion of the protective flood bund along the southern boundary of the pit limits in preparation for operations throughout the wet season.
Commenting on the development, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said in the statement: “We are encouraged that the process plant is now continuously performing in line with design specifications, and are confident that we will see increased levels of gold production and operational improvements in the coming months as we continue to optimise the operations.”
The Company’s assets include the New Liberty Gold Mine in Liberia, which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t.
A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) has been completed, the first gold pour has taken place and work continues on commissioning the plant for full-scale commercial production. The mine is expected to have an 8-year life, and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company’s technical report dated March 25, 2015 and entitled “New Liberty Gold Project, Bea Mountain Mining Licence Southern Block, Liberia, West Africa, Definitive Project Plan.”
The New Liberty Gold Mine is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 478 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja, Weaju and Leopard Rock which are the focus of exploration programs during 2016. Ndablama has an indicated mineral resource of 386,000 ounces of gold grading 1.6 g/t and inferred mineral resource of 515,000 ounces of gold grading 1.7 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company’s technical report dated December 1, 2014 and entitled “Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources” (“Ndablama and Weaju Technical Report 2014”). The Company also has a gold exploration permit in Cameroon.