JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Africa-focused Goldplat raised its output only marginally in the 2010 financial year to 21 461 oz of gold, while its profit declined by almost 37%.
The company’s output was only 2% higher than the 21 068 oz of gold produced in the previous financial year.
Despite the increase in production, the Aim-listed company’s revenues fell to £10,7-million in the year ended June 30, 2010, down 4% on the £11,1-million earned the year before.
This was mainly owing to the fact that some suppliers of raw materials for processing at Goldplat’s two recovery operations were credited with part of the gold sold.
Its net profit declined by 36,8% to £1,2-million, compared with the £1,9-million recorded in the 2009 financial year.
Goldplat’s South African gold recovery operation, Goldplat Recovery (GPR), produced 17 263 oz of gold in the year under review, up 24% on the 13 960 oz produced the year before.
GPR currently had a stockpile of gold-bearing raw material to produce 34 000 oz of gold. Goldplat also continues to negotiate with other gold miners to increase its stockpiles of gold-bearing raw materials.
In August, it had signed an agreement with Simmer & Jack Mines to acquire 20 000 t of gold-bearing raw material from its Buffelsfontein mine.
Meanwhile, production at the company’s Gold Recovery Ghana (GRG) operation fell by 41% to 4 198 oz, compared with the 7 108 oz produced in the year ended June 30, 2009.
A gold-bearing raw material stockpile to enable the production of 20 900 oz of gold had been accumulated, to date, at GRG.
Goldplat has identified and evaluated a number of new surface stockpiles of gold-bearing materials in the Konongo area, in Ghana, and was negotiating to buy these stockpiles, chairperson Brian Moritz reported to shareholders on Monday.
Further, equipment upgrades to improve the GRG operations’ performance were under way.
A wash bay, which would increase the feed rate of raw materials to the gold plant, would be implemented by November, while equipment for the establishment of a fire assay laboratory at Theme would be operational by the end of October.
Production costs at both GPR and GRG had been reduced, with production costs of £330/oz achieved at the South African operation and of £441/oz achieved at the Ghana operation.
This was lower than the £413/oz production costs at GPR and £456/oz at GRG recorded in the 2009 financial year.
Meanwhile, Moritz affirmed that mining was still the central focus of the company’s future growth prospects.
Goldplat was still awaiting the granting of a full mining licence for underground mining at its Kilimapesa mine, in Kenya.
The company was planning to ramp production at the mine up to 5 000 oz/y of gold within 12 months of being granted a mining licence.
To date, it has been informed by the Commissioner of Mines and Geology that it has complied with all the requirements for the issuing of a licence.
It has also received approval from the Commissioner to start commercial gold production from existing stockpiles at the mine.
A full mining licence would only be issued once the cadastral survey submission with the Director of Survey was completed.
Further, Goldplat was also working towards fast-tracking exploration on the Nyieme gold project, in Burkina Faso, in which it acquired an interest at the end of 2009.
A defined resource for the project was expected to be available by the end of the 2010 calendar year.
Moritz again emphasised the company’s intention to acquire deposits with between 200 000 oz and one-million ounces of contained gold, across Southern Africa.
“While we remain active in our hunt for gold mining projects, we recognise the overriding importance of bringing our two existing mining projects into profitable production as soon as possible,” he added.
Further, Goldplat was also looking at potentially exploiting the by-products produced by gold mines in Burkina Faso as a future growth opportunity.