JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – East Africa-focused gold producer Shanta Gold on Thursday reported that it had beaten full year guidance on both cost and volume at its New Luika gold mine (NLGM), in southwest Tanzania.
This follows record gold production of 87 713 oz for the year ended December 31, at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $661/oz – also a company record. Production for the fourth quarter was 18 897 oz.
“This is a fantastic accomplishment,” said CEO Toby Bradbury, adding that, in the year ahead, the company would continue to deliver high-margin ounces and generate strong operational cash flows.
“Shanta is now 15 months into New Luika’s base case mine plan. Since its introduction, the company has consistently delivered on meeting its yearly guidance, both in 2015 and 2016,” he explained.
High-grade ore production from the NLGM’s underground operations is also scheduled to start within six months.
Meanwhile, Bradbury noted that Shanta also had an improved financial position, which “is particularly satisfying”, with a reduction in gross debt from a peak at the end of the first half 2016 of $75-million to $57.9-million at year-end.
“Debt is projected to continue to reduce in 2017, despite the scheduled completion of the underground development programme in the first half of 2017,” he said.
The company’s production guidance for the year ahead stands at between 80 000 oz and 85 000 oz at an AISC of $800/oz to $850/oz.