GoldStone Resources’ efforts over the past few months have brought it to an important turning point in the evolution of the company’s production process, CEO says Emma Priestley said in an operational update regarding mining and production activities at the Homase mine and exploration activities at the former Akrokeri underground mine, both in Ghana.
“Our team redesigned the mine and heap leach, focusing on improving efficiency and production oversight to minimize dilution and improve gold recovery. The turnaround supports our previously announced production target for 2022 and will provide a very solid foundation for production growth over the next few years.
“Pending the achievement of our longer-term growth objectives, Akrokeri remains a key pillar of our strategy. [and] with a drilling and trenching program finally underway, we look forward to expanding exploration in the coming weeks,” she adds.
She explains that Akrokeri is a previously producing mine with delineated targets for future shallow surface mining, which the company is confident will lead to future production growth.
Gold production began at Homase this year, with 1,717 troy ounces of gold produced and sold to date, at an average price of $1,907/oz.
Gold loan repayments from the first gold of $1.1 million, through delivery of 610 troy ounces to Asia Investments Management Services, resulted in the release of the default interest rate.
Construction has been completed for the initial phase of the mine, which includes a crushing, sizing, sintering and stockpiling unit, three heap leach pads, a columnar coal plant and an elution room and gold, for a total investment of $15 million including overhead.
Start-up agglomeration issues have now been resolved and gold recovery from heap leach pads has increased to over 65%, with latest in-situ test work indicating that heap leach recovery from 82% will be achieved over a 12 month period.
An additional crushing, agglomeration and stacking circuit is being built to improve the productivity and flexibility of heap stacking, utilizing existing cash resources.
The 2022 production target has been set at approximately 20,000 ounces of gold.
Homase continues to advance its capital-efficient mine and expects to achieve a cash cost of approximately $840/oz for the remainder of the year, with an all-in sustaining cost of $970/oz.
Exploration is intensifying on the Homase and Akrokeri licenses.
Diamond drilling is expected to start around Akrokeri during this month.
Grade control drilling is now underway at the third pit along the Homase trend.