Bass turns Fossey mine

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Bass Metals has reported progress with the turnaround in the performance of its 100 per cent-owned Fossey mine in Tasmania.

The company’s September 2011 quarterly report indicated a strong recovery from recent mine issues and an excellent outlook for further exploration success underpinned by robust production.

Bass Metals said that although the quarter has been one of the most difficult and challenging in the company’s history, it has been able to re-establish the mining operation as one that is both safe and financially.

The company has also made some progress in regard to exploration while also advancing a major $25 million fundraising, which is now in its final stages.

Production from the Fossey underground resulted in 97,879 tonnes of ore produced during the quarter, 11 per cent less than the previous quarter’s production, but at higher grades.

Operating costs for mine met budgeted forecasts at $90 per tonne during the quarter, while the mill operating costs were below budget at $48 per tonne.

The company claimed several outstanding exploration results were achieved during the quarter including a high-grade intercept at Mackay of seven metres at 22.3 per cent zinc, 9.9 per cent lead, 0.7 per cent copper, 181 grams per tonne silver and 3.4 grams per tonne gold.

Bass said the results may have identified a new mineralised zone.

“Importantly this validates a new exploration model and opens up large tracts of ground not previously interpreted as prospective,” Bass Metals managing director Mike Rosenstreich said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“At Fossey East, further high-grade intercepts were made as part of the 25 metre spaced infill drilling program and the outlook for a high-grade extension to the Fossey mine is promising.

Bass is in the final stages of a 1 for 3 non-renounceable entitlements offer to raise up to $10.7 million.

“The Board and management of Bass Metals consider that the company has strong, realistic production plans in place to support a number of very exciting growth opportunities,” Rosenstreich said.

“The recent McKay discovery, following within 12 months of the Fossey East discovery, is a clear validation of the company’s new exploration models and strategy and emphasises the under explored nature of the Hellyer-Que River area and significant exploration upside.”