An outstanding performance by How Mine in the second quarter of 2016 saw Zimbabwe’s biggest gold producer Metallon Corporation record a nine percent jump in gold production to 22,565 ounces from 20,673 produced in the first quarter. Metallon Corporation, a gold mining group owned by South African businessman Mzi Khumalo boasts of five gold mining assets; How Mine (the flagship asset), Shamva Mine, Mazowe Mine, Redwing Mine and Acturus Mine.“Metallon delivered a positive performance in the second quarter. Production increased almost 10 percent and AISC reduced by 16 percent quarter on quarter, with the operations at How Mine especially achieving strong results.
The appointment of contract miners at Shamva Mine and ramp up at Redwing Mine will also provide increased production in the second half of the year,” Metallon Corporation chief executive Ken Mekani said.
“We look forward to the continued expansion across the group and reaffirm our production target of 120 000 ounces in 2016,” he said.
Mr Mekani said the capital expenditure programme aimed at its mines over the next few years will considerably increase production and generate future revenue.
He said although the initial on set of liquidity challenges impacted mining activities due to delays in paying for imported products, the group is encouraged that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is prioritising payments within the mining sector.
“Metallon continues to work closely with the Chamber of Mines and we are engaging regularly with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development,” said Mr Mekani.
In a group production update yesterday, Metallon Corporation said power interruptions continued to affect operations during the quarter under review. Metallon lost 112 hours of production in the quarter which equates to approximately 1 700 ounces.
“Metallon is working on possible solutions for supplementing grid power supply. The second quarter C1 costs were $764 per ounce and all in sustaining costs were $971 per ounce.
“This is an improvement of 14 percent and 16 percent compared to first quarter of 2016. This improvement was the result of increased production and cost savings from overtime control and central procurement,” said Metallon Corporation.
“As production and cost efficiencies improve throughout the year with new equipment and increased capacity, Metallon expects these costs to reduce further.”
On expansion, How Mine How Mine commenced the deepening of the 16N7 Shaft in order to increase ore supply. The shaft deepening from 28L to 34L is to access ore below 28 Level which will increase future production and commissioning of the deepened shaft is expected in 2018.
On Shamva Mine the new Tailing Storage Facilities will be commissioned in the fourth quarter while plans are scheduled to refurbish the processing plant to 70 000 tonnes per month capacity, which would increase production in 2017.
During the quarter under review, management appointed contract miners at Shamva Mine. Contract miners commenced on August 01, 2016 and management is confident that positive results will be generated in the third quarter.
“Dependant on performance, management may consider use of contract miners across the group,” said the mining group.
Construction on the new Processing Plant and TSF at Mazowe Mine is currently at 80 percent and commissioning is expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The new Mazowe Processing Plant is expected to increase capacity at the mine to 70 000 tonnes per month. Exploration drilling has also commenced at Mazowe Mine with drill results to be published in the third quarter.
Redwing Mine continues to increase production following the resumption of operations in November 2015.
Production is expected to increase to 22 000 tonnes per month by the fourth quarter of 2016. Plans are also underway to increase production to 50 000 tonnes per month in 2017.
In 2016, Metallon will be focused to upgrading the Inferred section of its resource into the Measured and Indicated category. This exploration programme across Metallon’s mines is positioning the company for increased production over the next five years.