HARARE – Chegutu-based gold producer, Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine’s first quarter gold output rose 4 percent to 6 326 ounces, from 6 057 ounces in the previous quarter.
Parent company, Vast Resources (which owns a 25 percent stake in the gold mine) said the rise in output came notwithstanding a decline in ore volumes.
“Gold produced and sold at Pickstone-Peerless rose in the quarter to their highest recorded levels. An exceptionally high level of pre-stripping was also undertaken in preparation for the expected increase in ore tonnages in the coming months.
“The high level of stripping and heavy rainfall during February resulted in reduced volumes of ore mined as compared to Q4 2017,” said Vast.
“Volumes of ore milled were also reduced during the period due to plant mechanical problems and delayed availability of parts. These mechanical problems have now been remedied and, together with the improved weather outlook, it is anticipated that the plant should process in excess of 30,000 tonnes per month in future quarters.”
The mine recorded a 28 percent decline in tonnes of ore mined during the quarter under review to 65 342 tonnes from 90 874 tonnes previously.
There was a 6 percent decrease in tonnes of ore milled to 80 639 tonnes from 86 097 tonnes in the last quarter.
Pickstone-Peerless said there was a 14 percent increase in gold sold during the quarter to 6 549 ounces from 5 729 ounces in the fourth quarter of last year.
Said Vast CEO Andrew Preleaon the performance:
“The grades continue to increase at depth as expected at Pickstone-Peerless and will continue to do so until we hit the sulphide ore body. Despite the reduction in ore mined and milled, precipitated by heavy rainfall and plant mechanical problems respectively, Pickstone-Peerless still achieved record gold production and sales – which signals a very positive future for the mine.”
In terms of projects around the gold producer, Vast said cold commissioning of the flotation section of the sulphide plant at Pickstone-Peerless is completed and the flotation plant is on standby for the sulphide ore.
”The ultra-fine grind mills are in the process of being installed and commissioned in preparation for the processing of the sulphide flotation concentrate derived from the sulphide flotation plant.
”Grade control drilling and further exploration works within the claim area is ongoing, as is target pre-stripping and stockpiling to replenish stock consumed during the rainy period in Q1,” said the miner.