The Asia Miner

JAN-FEB 2017

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Volume 14 • Issue 1 | 2017 | ASIA Miner | 33 Philippines THE Masbate Gold Project is continuing its strong operational per- formance with above budget production during the September quarter. This prompted B2Gold to increase 2016 production guid- ance to between 200,000 and 210,000 ounces from 175,000 to 185,000 ounces. Production of 47,676 ounces was 4%, or 1806 ounces, above budget and 18%, or 7308 ounces, above production in the third quarter of 2015. This was driven by better than expected grades from Main Vein Stage 1 pit and higher recoveries from higher than budgeted oxide ore from Colorado pit. In addition, recoveries were positively impact- ed by the newly completed process plant upgrades, which have added residence time and additional oxygen to the CIL circuit to achieve optimum leach performance. In the September quarter high grade ore tonnes mined from the Mein Vein Stage 1 pit were significantly above budget by 68% at almost 1.3 million tonnes versus the budgeted 772,507 tonnes and grade was up 24% @ 1.48 g/t versus the budgeted 1.19 g/t. High grade ore tonnes from the Colorado pit were also significantly above budget by 39% at more than 1.068 million tonnes @ 0.99 g/t versus the budgeted 769,941 tonnes @ 1.01 g/t. Of the high grade ore mined in the quarter from the Colorado pit, 99% was oxide ma- terial compared to budget of 46%. Mill throughput was 1,604,176 tonnes compared to budget of 1,727,603 tonnes and this was affected by a six day plant shut- down to tie-in various plant upgrades. Mill head grade was 1.20 g/t, 7% higher than budget of 1.12 g/t and 20% higher compared to 1.00 g/t in the third quarter of 2015. In August 2016, Masbate's mine plan was adjusted to optimise the development sequence/gold production. The adjustments in- cluded accelerated mining in the Main Vein Stage 1 pit, expanding the Colorado pit and commencing site preparations for later Main Vein stages. In addition, the lower grade but higher recovery Colorado pit ore has been prioritised as mill feed ahead of the higher grade Main Vein ore, largely due to the higher than budgeted oxide ore content from the larger Colorado pit. Excess higher grade ore from Main Vein Stage 1 pit has been stockpiled for processing in 2017. B2Gold says the modified mine plan provides for optimised pro- duction in 2017 and beyond. METALS Exploration achieved its first gold sale from the Runruno project in the Philippines late last year after gold doré produced during commissioning activities was uplifted from the project site for refining. The sale marked a major milestone in the project's drawn- out development. Mining and processing operations are ramping up soundly at the project. Metals Ex says each of the individual processes within the plant has been successfully commissioned and is being ramped up progressively to design throughputs. It has been a long road for Metals Ex at Runruno owing to a num- ber of permitting delays, exacerbated by a typhoon which necessi- tated further work. In November, the company obtained commitments to raise ap- proximately US$10.295 million through a placement. It chose to raise additional finance due to delays in realising revenue. The placing shares were subscribed for by MTL (Luxembourg) Sarl, Runruno Holdings Ltd, Investec Wealth & Investment Ltd, Jar- vis Nominees, Lynchwood Nominees Ltd, Sector Investments Ltd, Smith & Williamson Investment Management LLP, Winterflood Se- curities Ltd and HSBC Marking Name Nominee. Following the plac- ing, MTL Luxembourg, the vehicle of property development siblings the Candy Brothers, had a 46.86% stake. In announcing the placement Metals Ex said discussions with the current project lenders regarding the rescheduling of the Runruno debt facility were continuing. "A further waiver has been obtained to delay the principal sum of US$15 million, previously due on June 30, 2016 to be repaid on the earlier of November 30, 2016 or on successful rescheduling, to be paid over the revised principal re- payment schedule. "To date US$324,000 of interest on the deferred principal repay- ment has been paid to the lenders and a further US$76,000 is due to be paid on November 30." Runruno has a US$75 million debt and $8 million cost overrun facility. Metals Ex executive chairman Ian Holzberger said, "The Board of Directors and the company are extremely grateful for the continued support provided from its shareholders in this placement and over the last several years. Their support for the company and the project is greatly appreciated. "We also are pleased to welcome a new shareholder, a major sector specialist institutional investor, to the company's register. The funds raised will significantly strengthen the company as it focuses on the successful ramp-up of the Runruno processing plant to de- sign throughput." Masbate gold mine performs strongly CIL tanks at the processing plant of the Runruno Gold Project. First sale of Runruno gold

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