Focus increases production in March quarter

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Focus Minerals produced 47,489 ounces of gold for the March 2012 Quarter, representing a 28 per cent increase on the company’s production from the December 2011 Quarter of 37,098 ounces.

The company put the growth spurt down to an improved performance from its recently acquired Laverton operations and ongoing, consistent output from its Coolgardie mines.

“We are delivering strong production growth,” Focus Minerals chief executive officer Campbell Baird said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“On a quarterly production basis we are among the top tier of Australian gold producers.”

The break down from the company’s two operations had Laverton delivering 25,636 ounces of gold from its tenth ore processing campaign at the Barrick Granny Smith mill, which ran for 50 days.

“We completed Campaign 10 with over 150,000 tonnes already stockpiled on the ROM pad at a grade of 1.8 grams per tonne in preparation for the next Campaign in the June Quarter,” Baird said.

Production from the Coolgardie mines was 21,853 ounces of gold, keeping in line with company forecasts, and with the preceding Quarter.

“We are on track to deliver consistent, stable production at Laverton and Coolgardie with operational efficiencies that will enable us to achieve margin expansion at a time of strong gold prices,” Baird said.

“At Laverton we have developed three new sources of ore including the Apollo pits and are focused on delivering a structured turnaround.

“The improvement in performance has resulted from a combination of the number of open pits in operation giving us blended ore sources to maintain recovery and throughput.

 “At our Coolgardie operations we have also demonstrated our ability to develop and commission new mines, having established two new mines there in the first half of FY 2012 to grow production.”

Focus said it was targeting the consistency it achieved in March production for the June Quarter at both Laverton and Coolgardie.

The next Laverton processing campaign at Barrick Granny Smith is scheduled to be 41 days but with mining from higher grade ore zones to sustain stable production.