Castlemaine pours first Ballarat gold

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Castlemaine Goldfields has achieved its first gold pour during the re-commissioning of the Ballarat gold project in Victoria.

The golden baby resulting from the pour weighed in at 8,517 grams (260 ounces of gold) and was a composite of gold recovered from the gravity circuit.

Castlemaine is currently re-commissioning the sulphide leach circuit at the Ballarat project and is scheduled to commence treating sulphide concentrate in October.

The company said that it anticipates the first gold production from this part of the circuit later that month.

The re-commissioning of the gold processing plant has continued to plan so far with the company enduring no significant issues to impede its progress.

At this stage of the start-up process Castlemaine is utilizing low-grade ore of around two to three grams per tonne.

The company expects that between 5,000 ounces and 8,000 ounces of gold will be produced from the project for the 2011 calendar year.

Gold bullion production will increase as the underground mine development and gold ore mining continues to ramp-up over the next six to nine months.

The company said it also remains on track to meet its target to produce approximately 50,000 ounces annually once this ramp-up period has been completed.
 
“Another milestone has been achieved, on time, as we progress through re-commissioning,” Castlemaine Goldfields managing director Matthew Gill said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This event is significant for the company, our employees and shareholders, as we make the company defining transition from explorer to producer.

“We are pleased with the progress to date, and that these activities have been done professionally and safely, and are a credit to our work teams on site.
“We remain on track to produce approximately 50,000 ounces of gold next year.”