JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX- and JSE-listed Gold One aims to increase its gold production to 69 000 oz in the June quarter, the South African miner said on Monday.
The company, which missed its March quarterly guidance of 68 000 oz, said it was targeting 34 000 oz from its Modder East mine, 27 000 oz from its Cooke operations and 8 000 oz from Randfontein.
Its production increased to 61 625 oz in the three months to March 2012, compared with the 26 188 oz produced in the comparative period the prior year.
The company experienced an 85% jump from the 33 352 oz produced during the December quarter on the back of the group’s acquisition of Rand Uranium, which included the Cooke underground and the Randfontein surface operations, both on the West Rand, in Johannesburg, said Gold One president and CEO Neal Froneman.
The Modder East mine, on the East Rand, produced 31 128 oz during the March quarter, while the Cooke underground and the Randfontein surface operations produced 23 171 oz and 7 326 oz respectively.
However, production fell 9% short of its guidance for the period, mostly owing to slower-than-anticipated production start-ups, protected and unprotected industrial action and mine-wide safety stoppages.
"It was disappointing that, after six quarters of delivery, we missed our March quarter 2012 production forecasts,” Froneman said in a statement.
The company attributed the drop to, besides others, seven production days being lost at the Modder East operations as a result of two Section 54 stoppages issued by the Department of Mineral Resources, as well as poor volumes and lower-than-planned recovered grades, owing to a lack of mining flexibility, at the Cooke underground operations.
Further, production at the Randfontein surface operation was negatively impacted by the nonperformance of a contractor appointed to install and operate a conveyor-based sand transportation and rail loading system.
The company was undertaking a number of measures to mitigate the challenges affecting production and, going forward, would focus on ensuring the gold operations return to planned production levels and its designed operational efficiencies.
“We have addressed the underlying issues and are now well positioned to improving the efficiency and performance of our operations and to deliver on next quarter's guidance," said Froneman.
During the March quarter, the group sold 60 507 oz at an implied average price of $1 424/oz, generating a revenue of $86.19-million.
The company declared profit before tax of $7-million for the period under review. It ended the March quarter with a cash balance of $147.61-million.