Resolute reports 19% drop in gold production

Africa-focused gold company Resolute Mining, in its quarterly report for the period ended 30 September, shows a 19% drop in production owing largely to the impact of industrial action at its Syama gold mine in Mali. Total gold production for the quarter was 87,303 ounces.

Resolute Mining’s performance during the September quarter reflects the consistent performance of the Mako Gold Mine (Mako) in Senegal and the impact of industrial action at the Syama Gold Mine (Syama) in Mali during the quarter.

Extensive negotiations with Resolute site-based employees, the Union and Government Officials has resulted in a conciliation agreement and the cancellation of further planned strike action, as announced on 28 September 2020.

This provides a solid basis for Syama operations to progress in line with expectations during the December quarter. An interim government has now been established in Mali following the Coup on 18 August 2020.

This government has the support of ECOWAS which has lifted all previously imposed sanctions on Mali. As a result, supply links into Mali have re-opened and transportation of key consumables to Syama has been re-established.

Underground mining tonnages increased by 3% compared to the June quarter despite disruptions from industrial action. Syama sulphide processing and production performance for the quarter was impacted by the industrial action in September, which resulted in lower mill throughput while head grades were lower as the underground mine encountered lower grade ore zones in establishing the cave on the hangingwall of 1055mRL level, the fourth operating level within the mining sequence. Plant recovery was stable averaging 79.5%. This reflected a consolidation of improvements made in the June quarter but was also impacted by disruption from the industrial action. Further improvement is expected in the December quarter as higher-grade ore is processed. Underground sulphide ore stocks at Syama increased from 491,000t to 501,000t at an average grade of 2.36 grams per tonne of gold (g/t Au).

The large quantity of run-of-mine stockpiled underground ore at Syama provides significant operational flexibility in managing the mining and processing rates.

Resolute’s safety performance has remained at consistently commendable levels during this period of COVID-19, industrial and political disruption. Operations at Mako and Syama are currently performing well and have achieved throughput and recovery at forecast levels during October.

In addition, higher grade oxide material from the development of the Cashew open pit will be the primary source of Syama oxide ore in the December quarter.

Full year results are therefore expected to meet the Company’s guidance, with gold production at the lower end and costs at the upper end of the revised guidance range.

Resolute continues to progress the strategic review of the Bibiani Gold Mine (Bibiani) in Ghana. The Company continues to evaluate plans to recommission the mine, assess capital requirements, evaluate funding alternatives, and engage with third parties interested in acquiring the project.

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