Perseus completes Edikan commissioning

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Perseus Mining has completed commissioning at its Edikan gold mine, located in Ghana, West Africa taking the company through the transition of becoming a commercial gold producer.

The commissioning was carried out during December 2011 and, according to the company, resulted in similar throughput and gold production as it had achieved in November 2011.

Production highlights for the month of December included:

Mill throughput – 395,500 dry tonnes for December and 1,089,000 dry tonnes for the December quarter;

Throughput rate – 674 dry tonnes per hour for December and 637dtph for the quarter;

Calculated grade – 1.29 grams per tonne for December and 1.26g/t for the quarter;

Calculated recovery – 82.6 per cent for December and 81.0 per cent for the quarter;

Gold recovered – 13,510 ounces for December and 35,801 ounces for the quarter;

The company lost a total of 90 hours during the month of December due to process water pumping issues.

Prior to the resulting plant shut-down the mill had averaged 700dtph and 14,000dt per day, which equates to 102 per cent and 93 per cent respectively of ‘nameplate’ capacity.

Since the shut-down throughput had been restricted to about 670dtph due to limited capacity of the interim pumping arrangement, however, Perseus said this hourly rate is nominally at ‘nameplate’ and daily throughput from the shutdown to the end of the month averaged 14,000dtpd.

The company said gold recoveries, grade reconciliation and mining rates are now in excess of criteria it had previously set for commercial production.

Perseus carved 1 January 2012 into the tree of history as its first day of commercial production.

“The December Quarter production was an excellent result given that we were commissioning the mill,” Perseus Mining managing director Mark Calderwood said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We will be in a position to give production guidance when our December quarter and half year financial reports are finalised towards the middle of next month.

“Now that commercial production has been declared we will be systematically assessing the performance in each area of the processing plant and associated infrastructure to instigate preventative management programs and carrying out upgrades where needed, to further ramp up production rates.”