Modern Mining February 2019
The New Luika Gold Mine in the Lupa goldfield of Tanzania. The plant milled a record 639 679 tonnes during FY-2018 (photo: Shanta).
Record tonnages milled at New Luika
NLGM processing plant and has a prob- able reserve of 660 500 tonnes at 5,56 g/t for 118 000 oz contained. It will be the third active source of high-grade ore at NLGM A campaign to evaluate Shanta’s regional licence potential across the Lupa goldfield continued during the quarter and is now well advanced. US$3,6 million has been budgeted for exploration in 2019. A prioritisation exercise has been con- ducted, from which a target list of the 25 highest-potential prospecting licences has been identified for further exploration dur- ing 2019. This campaign is supported by engagements now in place with third party consultants who are assisting in the review of the company’s exploration portfolio. “The company set a number of all-time records in Q4 both operationally and finan- cially against a backdrop of zero LTIs for the year,” comments Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin. “Shanta’s full year EBITDA was US$45,5 mil- lion, a significant increase on last year and
resulting in net debt of US$32million being the lowest in six years. This is despite not receiving any VAT refunds in 2018 and with continued investment across our opera- tions. These results are down to a highly motivated team, disciplined cost control and careful capital allocation decisions. “Exploration remains a key priority for Shanta and we have doubled the explo- ration budget for 2019. Shanta’s drilling programme will commence in the next few months starting with Bauhinia Creek high grade underground targets.” Shanta has a 15-year track record in Tanzania and, over this period, has invested US$250 million in the country. It ranks as the third largest gold mining company in the country and has over 700 employees. Apart from New Luika, it also owns the Singida gold project in central Tanzania, which could potentially be developed into a mine with an average annual production of 26 000 ounces over an initial six-year life.
Shanta Gold, whose shares are quoted on AIM, reports that its New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM) in the Lupa goldfield of south-western Tanzania produced 23 942 of gold during the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q4), up 21 % from Q3-2018. The cash cost was US$514/oz and the AISC US$701/oz. NLGM set a new all-time record for tonnes mined from underground of 157 952 in Q4. For the full year (FY-2018), New Luika produced 81 872 oz – above guidance of approximately 80 000 oz – at a cash cost of US$538/oz and an AISC of US$731/oz, ahead of US$750/oz guidance. The mine milled 639 679 tonnes during the year, also an all-time record. Shanta reports that Ilunga under- ground pre-production development is well ahead of schedule and first develop- ment ore is now expected in March, ahead of the original mid-year 2019 target. The Ilunga deposit is located 3,5 km from the
12 MODERN MINING February 2019
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