Asanko Gold expects to produce gold on the upper end of its updated guidance for the final six months of the year after achieving ahead-of-plan output of 53,986 oz at its Asanko mine, in Ghana, during the third quarter of the year.
Fourth-quarter production from phase one of the Asanko mine, between 52 000 oz and 57,000 oz, is expected to push output for the second half of the year to between 106,000 oz and 111 000 oz.
This is above the revised second-half guidance of 100,000 oz to 105,000 oz.
“The operations had an exceptional quarter with the process plant now running at 300,000 t/m, or about 20 per cent above design. The ore grade from the Nkran pit continued to increase during the quarter with most of the ore now coming from the main mineralised domains within the heart of the deposit,” said Asanko president and CEO Peter Breese.
This strong performance is expected to position the company to finance its phase two expansion project with cash flow generated from the operations.
With gold sales of 54,393 oz at an average price of $1 311/oz during the three months to September 30, Asanko generated revenue of $71.3 million.
“The company’s balance sheet strengthened during the quarter with approximately $69.4 million in cash and immediately convertible working capital balances, as at September 30,” Mr. Breese pointed out, adding that there are currently no significant current long-term debt obligations, with its first principal repayment on its $150 million debt facility only due in 2018.
The Asanko Gold Mine is an open-pit mining operation, comprising the Nkran pit and four satellite deposits (Abore, Asuadai, Dynamite Hill and Adubiaso) and a 3Mtpa carbon-in-leach (CIL) processing plant facility.
It has a gold resource base of 7.9Moz (M&I) and reserves of 5.2Moz (P&P).
The project is wholly-owned by Asanko, with a 10 per cent free carried interest held by the Government of Ghana.
The company is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results on November 7.