Golden Star Resources Limited (GSRL), a multinational gold mining company in the Western Region, has stated that its gold production from the Wassa Underground mine complex in the first quarter of 2018 was 35,506 ounces.
According to the company, although this represents a 15% decrease (6,495 ounces) compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, the first quarter of 2018 was the first quarter of primarily underground production in the fourth quarter of 2017.
It pointed out that the open pit of Wassa Underground mine delivered approximately 50% of the total ounces, demonstrating the robustness of the underground operation of its Wassa Underground mine.
The company noted that grade of the underground ore in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 12% to 4.54 g/t Au, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
It added that mining rates at Wassa Underground mine also continued to exceed expectations, at approximately 2,400 tpd on average in the first quarter of 2018.
That, according to the company, represented a 26% increase compared to 1,900 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2017.
It said during March 2018, the mining rate exceeded 2,600 tpd.
The company averred that the targeted average mining rate for Wassa Underground in FY 2018 is 2,700-3,000 tpd, but the company is expected to achieve an average of 2,300 tpd during the first quarter of 2018.
It said the mining team is well positioned to continue increasing the tonnage profile in 2018 and beyond, with the mining sequence working well and an increasing number of stopes prepared and developed.
According to the company, gold production ceased from the Wassa Main Pit in January 2018, as planned, however, stockpiled ore will continue to be fed to the processing plant until the end of the third quarter of 2018.
Additionally, the company revealed that its gold production from the Prestea complex was 22,110 ounces in the first quarter of 2018.
At Prestea Underground mine, the company noted that the problems experienced with the blasting of the first stope, which were described in the press release dated January 11, 20181, continued during the period.
As a result, it asserted that the blasted ore from the first stope contained higher than anticipated levels of dilution.
“However, the mining team learnt important lessons from the first stope and further changes have been made to drill design patterns, blasting practice, raise layouts and stope ventilation, in order to address these dilution issues.
As a result, the performance of the second stope is expected to be much stronger,” the company explained.
The blasting of the second stope is anticipated to be completed in the coming days and the final draw down of ore is expected to commence in mid-April 2018.
The mucking of the swell ore from the second stope has begun and it is performing in line with the grades forecasted in the block model.
The operational management team at Prestea Underground has also been strengthened during the first quarter of 2018, with the objective of delivering continuous improvement to the mine’s performance.
Golden Star’s management team expects the mine’s performance to strengthen significantly during the second quarter of 2018.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star, Mr Sam Coetzer, commented: “At the end of the first quarter of 2018, Golden Star is on track to achieving its 2018 gold production guidance.
He added that Wassa’s strong performance following the cessation of open pit production continues to confirm the robustness of the underground operation, both in terms of grade and productivity.
According to him, the majority of the open pit workforce severance charges “were now behind us and we believe that Wassa’s performance will strengthen further as the year progresses.”
“At Prestea Underground, we remain confident in our chosen mining method and in our ability to deliver high grade production to plan,” he noted.
He contended that the mining sequence continues to improve and “we expect that by the middle of the second quarter of 2018, production would have begun to ramp up.”
“Golden Star Resources Limited has two cornerstone assets and this provides us with important flexibility as we transition the company into a primarily underground-focused producer,” he explained.
Story: News DESK