Zimbabwe – AIM-listed resource and development company Vast Resources’ Pickstone-Peerless gold project, in Zimbabwe, is progressing well towards commercial production having already been awarded its mining permit and having received both environmental and siting and works plan approval.
The Vast Resources board looks forward to producing maiden revenues from the mine in the latter half of 2015.
Vast Resources says that the minor capex overrun and the slight delay in completion of development and the commencement of mining is not expected to significantly impact the project’s financial parameters.
The Pickstone-Peerless gold mine, situated in the midlands of Zimbabwe, is being jointly developed by Vast Resource’s Zimbabwean subsidiary and Grayfox Investments via a co-owned operating company.
The co-owned operating company has a capex budget of US$4 million equity, funded by Grayfox, with Vast Resources retaining management control via a chairman’s casting vote.
The mine will have an initial mining rate of 10 000 tpm from the open cast oxide gold cap, which is planned for the beginning of the second half of 2015 with first positive cash flows expected later, but also in the second quarter of the year.
The equity capital of $4 million is in place at the co-owned operating company level. A decision was made to acquire slightly enhanced processing equipment to facilitate and reduce the cost of the next phase of expansion. The increased working capital requirement is planned to be provided by facilities from local financial institutions which have indicated interest in the project. These facilities are now in the process of negotiation.
Management and operational staff
The majority of the required senior and middle management personnel are in place, with a significant part of the operational staff available. There are ample experienced mining specialists in Zimbabwe and no personnel shortages are expected.
The mining contractor is on site establishing its required facilities. Elements of the mining fleet are also on site and preparation of the opencast mine is under way. Pit preparation will be undertaken during May 2015 and an ore stock-pile (one month) will be created in June 2015, ready for hot commissioning and first production in August 2015. Annualised gold production of between 10 000 and 12 000 oz of gold is expected from the initial mining rate of 10 000 tpm. Grade control drilling has also commenced.
Refurbishment of the existing carbon-in-pulp/carbon-in-leach facilities and the civil engineering for the new facilities is 70% complete.
The new mill and crusher ex-China has arrived in Durban, South Africa, and is en-route by road to the mine.
Equipment being sourced in South Africa is in construction and will be available when required for installation, while equipment being refurbished or fabricated in Zimbabwe is well in hand.
Ancillary facilities such as the laboratory have already been commissioned and are operational.
All levels of housing have been either refurbished or constructed and will be enhanced as the mine expands.