Having commissioned, in July and August, a carbon in solution (CIS) plant and having mined the first four benches of the Krodua pit within its Ghana-based Homase mine, Aim-listed gold explorer and developer GoldStone Resources reports that all indications thus far point to the grade and tonnes mined being within expectations.
The Homase mine, within Goldstone’s Akrokeri-Homase gold project, has delivered 133 000 t of ore, with 385 700 t of waste generated.
About 87 300 t of ore have been stacked on the heap leach pads.
The company reports that the initial permeability and dissolution of the leachate is satisfactory and the CIS plant is operating well and at expected recovery rates to produce loaded carbon.
In addition, GoldStone is continuing to make any improvements necessary to the CIS plant and investigating the potential of further ramping up the speed of stacking and the subsequent processing, and has, as such, taken its first batch of loaded carbon out of the CIS plant for further processing.
The company had been seeking to elute the gold from the loaded carbon at a nearby rented facility; however, approval from the Minerals Commission of Ghana for use of this facility has not yet been forthcoming.
In light of this, GoldStone is now accelerating its plans to complete its own elution facility on site, which it is endeavouring to complete in the shortest possible timeframe.
Also, despite some initial commissioning issues with stacking and agglomeration, which have impacted the company’s targeted mining schedule, the heap leach pad crushing and conveyor systems are now operating as planned.
While this is behind GoldStone’s initial forecast schedule, the company is nonetheless now stacking the balance of the stockpile at a consistent 120 t/h, while temporarily pausing mining as the existing stockpile is depleted.
GoldStone CEO Emma Priestley says that while the company is disappointed it has not been able to commence gold production, it is nonetheless pleased with the continued progress on the Homase mine and the rate at which this is now operating following some initial operational hurdles.
Meanwhile, the company reports that it is in ongoing discussions with Asia Investment Management Services in relation to a $3-million secured gold loan, which matures on September 19, and associated interest payments.