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Freda Rebecca registered a 2 percent increase in gold production to 13 380 ounces in the quarter to December 2013, driven by growth in ore mined and milled, Mwana Africa said yesterday.

The Alternative Investment Market-listed pan African commodity miner said tonnes milled rose 8 percent to 279 879t from 258 184t in the previous quarter.

“The increase in tonnage processed is attributed to a 4 percent increase in throughput as a result of the second mill speed increase and a 4 percent improvement in running time attributable to improved maintenance,” Mwana said in a statement.

The average feed was 1 percent higher at 1,91gt from 1,89gt in the third quarter. Stope preparation that had affected previous quarter was completed and grades improved in the main stopes.

Consequently, a combination of improved milled tonnes and feed grade resulted in gold production rising by 2 percent to 13 380oz, compared to 13 072oz in the previous third quarter.

“Cash operating costs for the quarter under review decreased to US$1 053oz from US$1 066oz due to an increase in gold production of 2 percent.”

Mwana said that all-in sustaining costs increased by 3 percent from US$1 291oz in the third quarter to US$1 325oz the current quarter under review.

Tailings retreatment project pilot plant, to raise output, commissioning is continuing although the new transformer for the section had to be returned to the manufacturers for repairs while the agitator drives design has been revisited and upgraded.

Quarterly concentrate sales at Bindura Nickel Corporation’s Trojan Mine came in at 2 207 tonnes, representing an increase of 9,5 percent compared to the previous third quarter.

All-in sustaining cash costs increased from $1,82t to $12,22t as a result of the continued nickel production ramp-up and shaft re-deepening.

The entire production output was sold during the period under review, with a 1,5 percent increase in average nickel price received to US$14 075t attained.

Mwana said the retreatment of the Marsfontein slimes dam at the Klipspringer diamond mine has produced 12 383 carats during the quarter, an increase of over 100 percent on the previous quarter.

An average price of $21 per carat was achieved during the quarter with steady-state production reached.

In terms of gold exploration at the Zani Kodo project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the resource conversion drilling programme is underway. Mwana holds controlling interest in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed BNC and unlisted fellow subsidiary Freda Rebecca, Zimbabwe’s biggest gold producer.

Source : The Herald