Acacia Mining, a London-based gold mining business operating in Tanzania, with exploration properties in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Mali, has announced plans to boost its production in the coming months.
The announcement follows a somewhat slow start experienced in the first months of 2019. Acacia officials confirmed that gold production for the quarter was 13% below the prior year period, mainly due to lower production at its North Mara and Buzwagi mining sites in Tanzania.
“We achieved gold production of 104,899 ounces for the first quarter of the year,” the exploration company’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Peter Geleta said in a statement issued this April.
“While historically our production is typically stronger in the second half of the year, production this quarter was impacted by unanticipated production issues at our North Mara mine. We have taken immediate steps to address these, introducing a revised mining plan in mid-March for both the underground and open pit mines, and we remain confident of delivering against our full year production guidance of 500,000 to 550,000 ounces,” he explained.
At North Mara, gold production for the quarter of 66,324 ounces was 14% lower than the prior year of 76,769 ounces, mainly driven by the consequences of a fall of ground in the Gokona underground mine at the end of December 2018 as well as an excavator breakdown in the Nyabirama open pit.
“In order to address these issues, North Mara began working to a revised mining plan from mid-March 2019, with new mine sequencing for both open pit and underground mines targeting higher grades and increased volumes supported by additional equipment, as well as initiatives to improve recovery rates in the process plant and asset reliability,” Acacia said in a statement.
Gold production at Acacia’s Buzwagi site was 20% lower than the prior year of 35,685 ounces but in line with expectations as a result of the mine having fully transitioned to a lower grade stockpile processing operation.
Meanwhile, Bulyanhulu produced 9,999 gold ounces for the quarter, 17% above the prior year of 8,527 ounces and in line with expectations, due to the higher grades recovered from the retreatment of tailings (residue from the ore) as well as improvements in plant throughput.
The company’s cash balance as at 31st March 2019 amounted to approximately $99 million, representing a decrease of net cash of approximately $17 million during the quarter, primarily as a result of the lower production.
Acacia will be releasing its 2019 first quarter results on 25th April, 2019.