Golden Star Resources says that pre-commercial production has commenced at its Wassa underground mine in Ghana, as scheduled, forecasting to produce 20,000-25,000 ounces of gold in 2016.
“Wassa Underground is forecast to produce 20,000-25,000 ounces of pre-commercial gold production in 2016 and it remains on track to achieve this,” the company said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.
Golden Star said the development rate at the underground was 10 to 12 metres per day and it was expected to continue to increase throughout the second half of 2016.
According to the company, the underground mine was expected to achieve commercial production in early 2017, at which time it was expected to deliver 2,000-2,500 tonnes of ore per day.
The statement said ore from the underground will be mined in conjunction with ore from the Wassa Main pit and blended for feeding to the processing plant.
“Production from the combined Wassa Main pit and Wassa Underground operations is expected to be 120,000-135,000 ounces of gold in 2016 and average life of mine combined production is anticipated to be 163,000 ounces of gold per annum,” the miner said.
Wassa Underground has probable mineral reserves of 5,397,000 tonnes at a grade of 4.59 grams of gold per tonne for 796,000 ounces of gold.
Golden Star’s total production in 2016 is expected to be between 180,000-205,000 ounces of gold with cash operating costs of US$815-US$925 per ounce.
Commenting, Sam Coetzer, president and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star, said: “I am delighted to announce that pre-commercial production has commenced at our Wassa underground mine. It is a credit to the operational team at Wassa that we delivered the first ore from Wassa underground within the timeframe expected and it remains on track to contribute 20,000-25,000 ounces of gold to our 2016 production.”
He said: “The blasting of the first stope at Wassa underground is the first of two major operational milestones that we are targeting during the course of the next 12 months. The second milestone will be the blasting of the first stope at Prestea Underground, which is anticipated to occur in mid-2017. Once these milestones have been achieved, Golden Star will be well-positioned as a high grade, low cost gold producer.”
Golden Star is an established gold mining company that owns and operates the Wassa and Prestea mines situated on the Ashanti gold belt in the western part of the country. The Prestea underground is expected to commence production in mid-2017.
By Times Reporter