London-listed Acacia Mining on Thursday reported a rebound in its production performance at the start of the second quarter, with the Tanzania-focused gold miner having produced 47 805 oz in April, which is 37% higher than the monthly average during the first quarter ended March.
The improvement follows the successful implementation of a revised mining plan at the North Mara mine, which saw April gold production at the mine increase to 33 941 oz, 54% above the monthly average during the first quarter.
The increase was mainly driven by higher grades from the underground and openpit mines, with a combined head grade through the plant above 4.5 g/t as a result of the implementation of revised mine sequencing, Acacia explained.
At Buzwagi, gold production of 10 705 oz for the month was 12% higher than the first quarter’s monthly average, following the yearly maintenance shutdown of the mine during the quarter.
Bulyanhulu’s production of 3 159 oz for April was in line with prior months, the miner said.
Although it was still early in the second quarter, interim CEO Peter Geleta said that the company was pleased with the improved production levels being achieved and that it remained confident of meeting its full year production guidance of between 500 000 oz to 550 000 oz.
“As we maintain our focus on what we can control, our operating performance during the month, together with public recognition for each of our mines at the National Safety Awards in Mbeya, are testament to the resilience and ongoing commitment of our people and businesses,” Geleta commented.
In the meantime, Acacia stated that a negotiated resolution remained the preferred outcome to its ongoing disputes with the government of Tanzania.
In this regard, Acacia noted that it continued to provide support to its parent company, Barrick Gold, in its direct discussions with the government.
Acacia has been at odds with Tanzania since July 2017, when it was handed a $190-billion tax bill. Barrick said in February that it had reached a settlement proposal with the government, but nothing has been signed yet. According to Bloomberg, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said this week that it might have to “force” an end to stalled talks.
Acacia’s Tanzanian businesses have also continued their close support for, and work with, their relevant government and community stakeholders, including on operational security and environmental performance, and on a wide range of initiatives and investments into the mines’ local and regional communities, as reported in the first quarter production and results announcements.
During the month, some of this work was recognised at the prestigious annual National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) awards held on April 30, in Mbeya.
The North Mara mine was awarded first prize in the OHS Innovation awards category and the Buzwagi mine was awarded first prize in the OHS Community Social Responsibility award category.
The Bulyanhulu mine was also awarded a runner-up prize in the OHS Exhibition awards category.