Tan­za­nia’s Aca­cia gold out­put drops by 50pc

The East African - - BUSINESS - By AL­LAN OLINGO The Eastafrican

TAN­ZA­NIAN GOLD miner Aca­cia has re­ported a 50 per cent drop in its pro­duc­tion in the first quar­ter of this year, largely due to a scal­ing down of op­er­a­tions in one of its mines af­fected by the dis­pute with the gov­ern­ment.

In its pro­duc­tion re­sults re­leased on Tues­day, Aca­cia re­ported a sale of 116,955 ounces, slightly be­low the out­put for the quar­ter, as a re­sult of the tim­ing of ship­ments.

“The group gold pro­duc­tion for the quar­ter was in line with ex­pec­ta­tions — at 120,981 ounces — a 55 per cent de­crease, com­pared with the first quar­ter of last year, of 219,620 ounces, pri­mar­ily driven by the re­duced op­er­a­tions at Bulyan­hulu (mine) and to stock­pile pro­cess­ing at Buzwagi (mine),” said Pe­ter Geleta, the in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

Low-grade ore

Aca­cia Min­ing is con­fi­dent that the re­silient per­for­mance in the first quar­ter puts it in good stead to de­liver on its full year tar­get of 435,000-475,000 ounces, which will still be lower that its pre­vi­ous an­nual es­ti­mates for 2015 and 2016.

“All three op­er­a­tions de­liv­ered in line with their re­spec­tive mine plans and we recorded an in­crease in our cash bal­ance to $107 mil­lion, driven by the sale of a non-core roy­alty in Jan­uary 2018,” Mr Geleta added.

At North Mara, gold pro­duc­tion for the quar­ter of 76,769 ounces was, as ex­pected, 20 per cent lower than the first quar­ter of 2017’s grade-driven per­for­mance of 96,468 ounces.

At Buzwagi, the 35,685 ounces for Quar­ter 1 was 41 per cent lower than the 59,856 ounces pro­duced in the same pe­riod last year as a re­sult of pro­duc­tion now be­ing de­rived from lower grade ore.

The Bulyan­hulu mines had the big­gest pro­duc­tion fall of 87 per cent, to 8,527 ounces, com­pared with 63,346 ounces in Q1, 2017.

In Fe­bru­ary, Aca­cia en­tered into talks with Shan­dong Gold, Zi­jing Min­ing Group and China Na­tional Gold Group, to sell a stake in its mines for a 50-50 joint ven­ture.

Pic­ture: File

A gold pro­cess­ing rig at Meremeta in Tan­za­nia.

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