Following a strong end to 2022 at all of its assets, including record yearly throughput at the New Luika mine, Aim-listed Shanta Gold says it is set to experience a positive 2023.
The company’s New Luika mine, in Tanzania, produced 65 209 oz of gold in the year ended December 31, 2022, which marked an 18% year-on-year increase.
CEO Eric Zurrin says the company missed its guidance by 4%, coming in just short of the targeted 68 000 oz to 76 000 oz. Shanta has, therefore, launched a few initiatives to decrease operational risks and optimise production this year, including bringing more mining equipment from a second contractor to site and using a third, newly acquired underground production rig.
Shanta is targeting a 40% increase in the New Luika mine’s openpit mining fleet capacity.
The company is also aiming to extend the current reserve life at the New Luika mine following successful exploration programmes in 2022. At current mining rates, the reserve life extends to the first quarter of 2028.
Meanwhile, the Singida mine, in Tanzania, is poised to add 45% to the group production profile, to about 100 000 oz/y once it starts operating. The mine’s construction is almost complete at 90% and will start producing gold in March.
Geological mapping, regional soil sampling and geophysics reinterpretation exercises undertaken in the year under review have significantly enhanced Singida’s upside potential for mine life extension.
At the West Kenya project, in Kenya, Shanta continues to deliver high-grade drilling results, which puts the company in good stead to develop a leading gold district in the country.
Zurrin confirms that the company will soon publish a significant update to the project’s mineral resource estimate, relating to the Isulu and Bushiangala deposits.
This while work at other targets – Miruka, Anomaly 22 and Kimingini – continues this year.
Shanta reports that it has cash and available liquidity of $13-million as at December 31, while it has gross debt of $24.1-million.
The company’s capital expenditure totalled $12.6-million for the year under review, of which the Singida mine’s construction accounted for the lion’s share, at $8.2-million.
Shanta has set the New Luika mine’s yearly guidance for 2023 at between 66 000 oz and 72 000 oz.
The company intends to release a production guidance for the Singida project once it reaches commercial production. The project’s mine life plan envisions production of 32 000 oz/y.