AngloGold still upbeat on Sunrise
The shine came off AngloGold Ashanti’s recovering Sunrise Dam gold mine in the September quarter, but the South African major is adamant brighter times are still ahead for the northern Goldfields operation.
Sunrise Dam produced 61,000 ounces at all in sustaining costs of $US1412/oz in the three months to September 30.
The result came after the operation produced 63,000oz in the June quarter after generating a record 88,000oz and $US35 million operating profit in the March quarter.
Since then, AngloGold has suffered the loss of the mine’s respected general manager Duncan Gibbs to a new role as managing director of Gold Road Resources.
Speaking on a conference call this week, AngloGold chief operating officer Ludwig Eybers blamed some of the issues on difficult-to-process arsenic-bearing ore.
He said the mine would improve after solving teething issues with the new fine grinding mill at Sunrise Dam, which is expected to improve recoveries affected by low tonnages and lower-grade refractory ore.
“With most of these projects, you normally go through a bit of teething problems,” he said. “As you
With most of these projects, you normally go through a bit of teething problems. Ludwig Eybers
mine through this orebody, you will find these high levels of arsenic pyrite.
“If you compare it to quarter one of this mine, (when) the mine had a really good quarter, we actually saw a very little of that.”
AngloGold recently awarded a new contract to Barminco for underground mining and drilling services at Sunrise Dam to 2022, with aims to expand the mine’s output to 300,000oz a year longterm.
The Tropicana gold mine, 300km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, performed strongly in the three months to September 30.
AngloGold’s 70 per cent share of the operation, which is owned in a joint venture with WA-based Independence Group, produced 87,000oz at $US804/oz.
Tropicana, which is expected to produce 500,000oz-550,000oz in 2018-19, trimmed costs by 22 per cent and generated a steady operating profit of $31 million for AngloGold in the September term.