Goldplat plc, the AIM quoted gold producer, is pleased to provide an operations update for its two gold recovery businesses in South Africa and Ghana and its Kilimapesa Gold Project in Kenya.
The recovery operations have continued to perform strongly - trading in the second half of the financial year was stronger than in the first half and the Company expects to report a significant increase in operating profit for the full year compared to the year ended June 2010
Initiatives in place to improve operational efficiency and profitability of South African recovery operation, which are impacting positively
Gold Recovery Ghana's toll processing agreements with Golden Star and Adamus Resources performing well and will positively impact profitability
Investigating collecting gold bearing by-products from gold mining operations in Burkina Faso and Mali for export to Ghanaian recovery operation
Expression of Interest regarding a gold mining asset in South Africa submitted
Completion of the Elution Plant project at Kilimapesa Gold mining project in Kenya now expected mid-September 2011 after which gold sales can commence - first shipment of plant equipment due in Mombasa before the end of July 2011
Underground development at the Kilimapesa Hill mine at Kilimapesa Gold has commenced - emphasis is on extending 250m underground strike exposure of the auriferous quartz veins to increase existing ore resources
Surface diamond drilling has progressed with five holes completed at the Vim/Rutha target at Kilimapesa Gold
Aim to increase JORC compliant resource base at Kilimapesa Gold in the medium-term to 500,000 ounces ('oz') of gold ('Au')
Goldplat CEO Demetri Manolis said, "Gold production from our two gold recovery operations continues to be solid, generating important revenues from which to drive growth to realise our ambition of becoming a mid-tier gold mining company. With the completion of the Elution Plant at Kilimapesa Gold we will be in a position to sell our first gold bullion from our first gold mining project, which will be a milestone achievement for the Company. Exploration is on-going and aims to underpin the potential of Kilimapesa Gold as we continue to seek to prove up the resource with a medium-term target resource of 500,000 oz of gold.
"Additionally we have recently completed a 3,000m drilling programme at our Nyieme gold project in Burkina Faso and assay results will be announced in due course. We will also shortly be announcing a defined exploration plan from our Banka Gold Project in Ghana with the aim to delineate an initial maiden JORC compliant resource of 250,000 oz to 300,000 oz, which we anticipate increasing with further infill drilling.
"With gold recovery operations performing strongly and generating profit, continued positive drilling results and resource progression from our development projects, Goldplat looks set to hit its key milestones for 2011/2012 and build value for its investors."
South Africa: Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd ('Goldplat Recovery')
Goldplat Recovery's processing operations are continuing to perform strongly.
Further progress has been made to secure new raw materials with Simmer and Jack Mines Limited and AngloGold Ashanti Limited ('AngloGold') in South Africa to ensure the long-term supply of gold bearing feedstock for processing at Goldplat Recovery. Interest has also been shown by a number of Tanzanian gold producers in supplying raw material to Goldplat Recovery although the issue of receiving permission from the government to export gold in concentrate form rather than bullion remains outstanding.
In terms of improving the operational efficiency and profitability of Goldplat's South African recovery operation, the Company has undertaken a number of initiatives which are impacting positively. A mobile screen has been purchased to pre-screen selected raw materials to remove waste material and increase the grade of the fines generated at the plant. A number of contracts were also renegotiated for raw materials purchased to help improve margins and help counteract the rising costs of electricity, royalties and transport. Additionally, the High Grade mill project to increase milling capacity is progressing with commissioning planned for the end of August 2011. Importantly the production capacity at the flotation section of the recovery plant has been increased by 15%.
In accordance with Goldplat Recovery's growth strategy, an Expression of Interest regarding a gold mining asset in South Africa has been submitted, which the management believes provides an attractive proposition and is complementary to its current activities.
Goldplat Recovery continues to maintain excellent relationships with the government authorities in South Africa, clients and its workforce.
Ghana: Gold Recovery Ghana Limited ('GRG')
GRG's gold processing operation is continuing to perform solidly and is generating significant cash flow for the Company.
The by-product contracts that GRG has with Goldfields Limited, AngloGold and Golden Star Resources Limited ('Golden Star') are operating smoothly.
GRG's toll processing agreements with Golden Star at its Wassa gold operation in Ghana and with Adamus Resources to process further GRG's surface materials are both operating well and will positively impact profitability.
The Company is also investigating the possibility of collecting gold bearing by-products from gold mining operations in Burkina Faso and Mali for export to GRG in Ghana. Response to this initiative has been encouraging with a number of gold producing mines showing interest to sell their by-products. Goldplat looks forward to updating the market on this in due course.
Kenya: The Kilimapesa Gold Project
The Elution Plant project for Kilimapesa Gold is progressing well with the first batch of components due to be shipped from Durban in South Africa on the 21 July 2011 to reach Mombasa in Kenya by the end of July 2011. All parts have been sourced in South Africa and are expected to be at the mine site by the end of August 2011. Commissioning of the plant is targeted to be finalised in mid-September 2011, which will enable the mine to smelt and produce gold bullion for export. Initial production is targeted at 5,000 oz Au per annum and with the plant expansion the Company is looking to increase this to 10,000 oz Au per annum.
Underground development has started with three development ends on the auriferous quartz vein being developed to the east of the Project. The purpose of this is to extend the exposed strike length of the veins, currently 250m, and to provide additional ore resources to the existing JORC-compliant resource of 1.65Mt at 2.44 g/t Au for 129,000 oz of gold at a cut-off grade of 1 g/t Au for all categories. The vein structures across the Project have been historically worked on in places and the Company is confident of the grade continuity.
Five diamond drill holes have been completed at the Vim/Rutha target area 2km south of the Kilimapesa Hill mine. Initial observations show that well-developed quartz veins have been intersected at the predicted hole depths. Goldplat will sample the quartz vein intersections as the drilling programme develops to understand the grade continuity and resource potential, which will be released to the market in due course in order to keep shareholders appraised of progress. This exploration programme is expected to significantly increase the current ore resource which is presently restricted to the Kilimapesa Hill mine area of the Project and is the next step towards establishing a potential resource target of 500,000 oz Au.
This announcement has been reviewed by Mr. Mark Austin, the group geologist for Goldplat who has more than 25 years of relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa ('GSSA') and has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.
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For further information visit www.goldplat.com or contact:
|Demetri Manolis, CEO||Goldplat plc||Tel: +27 (0) 11 423 1203|
|James Joyce||WH Ireland Limited||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666|
|Felicity Edwards||St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177|
|Hugo de Salis||St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177|
Goldplat plc is an AIM-listed gold producer with operations in Africa. Its strategy is to consolidate its position as a gold producer in Africa and build itself into a mid-tier gold company.
The Company has two recovery businesses based in South Africa and Ghana, which, by safely disposing mining by-products, fulfil an important aspect of the mines' environmental management programmes. The South African plant is located near the centre of the East Rand Goldfield and raw material feedstocks are sourced from many of the major South African mining companies, including AngloGold Ashanti, Goldfields, Harmony, DRD Gold and other smaller producers. The Ghana plant, located in the free port of Tema, provides access to raw materials from mines in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote D'Ivore, Senegal, the DRC and Mauritania, as well as Ghana.
Goldplat's strategy is to build itself into a mid-tier gold producer, through the acquisition of known deposits with targets of between 200,000 and one million contained ounces. Kilimapesa Gold is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldplat and is developing the potential of the 213 sq km Lolgorien licence area located in the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt in western Kenya. Kilimapesa Gold commenced initial production in January 2009 and an aggressive exploration and development programme resulted in a maiden JORC compliant resource being reported in October 2009.
Goldplat also has an option over the 246 sq km Nyieme Gold Project located in Burkina Faso, which includes known high-grade quartz vein structures, with drill core results showing up to 17.83 g/t gold over one metre and 11.67 g/t over five metres. A maiden resource was announced in December 2010 of 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t Au for 57,501oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au for all categories and an exploration programme is currently in progress which is intended to increase this resource.
Additionally, the Company has acquired the Banka Mining Lease, a ten year renewable mining lease for gold and associated minerals covering an area of 29 sq km located in the Amansie East and Asante Akim South Districts of the Ashanti Region of the Republic of Ghana. The Company is now implementing a defined development plan with a view to proving a JORC compliant resource.
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