Aim-listed diversified miner Vast Resources on Wednesday released a solid set of production results for the three months ended June 30, including a record quarter for the Pickstone-Peerless gold mine, in Zimbabwe.
Pickstone-Peerless delivered a 56% increase in tonnes of ore mined to 101 706 t, compared with 65 342 t in the first quarter and a 23% increase in tonnes of ore milled to 98 899 t, compared with 80 639 t in the first quarter.
This led to a 10% increase in gold production to 6 969 oz, up from the first quarter’s 6 326 oz.
However, the milled gold grade decreased 11% quarter-on-quarter to 2.48 g/t, from 2.78 g/t.
The plant is producing at a steady state of about 30 000 t/m.
Further, Vast achieved a successful turnaround at its Manaila polymetallic mine, in Romania, following a planned plant shutdown and pre-stripping in the first quarter.
Manaila mined 26 022 dry tonnes of ore, which is a 70% increase compared with the 15 344 dry tonnes mined in the first quarter.
Tonnes of ore milled increased from 13 616 t in the first quarter to 27 497 t in the second quarter – a 102% increase. The mine also achieved a 136% increase in copper concentrate, from 386 dry tonnes in the first quarter to 911 dry tonnes in the second quarter, while the grade increased to 17.9% from 17.3%.
Manaila also achieved an 80% increase in zinc concentrate produced to 151 dry tonnes, compared with 84 dry tonnes in the first quarter, while the grade increased to 34.8% from 30.4% in the first quarter.
Vast CEO Andrew Prelea expressed delight at the company’s performance during the second quarter, which saw record sales, especially at Manaila as a result of a new offtake agreement with Mercuria and an improved performance in the openpit and processing plant.
“Optimisation of the Iacobeni plant and the openpit at Manaila are continuing in preparation for the increase of production that will result from the new equipment being acquired using raised funds.”
Prelea further expects Pickstone-Peerless to continue to improve its production and quality quarter-on-quarter, as the company approaches the sulphide orebody.
Meanwhile, he said significant progress has been made on finalising the association on the licence at Baita Plai, in Romania, and Vast is waiting to start mining activity.
Other work on expanding the company’s footprint in Romania is in progress, including current claims at Magura Neagra and Piciorul Zimbrului, where Vast is preparing a drilling programme to start in the fourth quarter.
Vast’s expansion initiatives in Zimbabwe continue to progress “encouragingly”, said Prelea.
Work at the Eureka mine, in which Vast holds a 23.7% economic interest, has started, with dewatering of the openpit and establishing the process flow.