“The exceptional performance of the test plant has laid a firm technical foundation and has helped to de-risk our plans to a build a much larger plant,” comments James E. Sinclair, Executive Chairman of Tanzanian Gold.
“We have every expectation that we will be producing in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 oz. of gold production per year with the new plant and after start-up we could be in a position to consider an expansion of this plant.”
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“Critically, we have now become a gold producer. The financing arrangements we have previously announced will help to ensure the rapid expansion of production such that we can expect to reach our goal of becoming cash flow positive.”
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Since June the plant has operated continuously seven days a week with two 12-hour shifts per day and has produced a total of 427.9 oz of gold.
Key performance metrics in the period June 30, 2020 to October 30,2020:
- 250,810 tons of waste and topsoil removed and stockpiled
- 21,900 tons of ore mined
- 10,040 tons ore crushed – wet
- 9,078 tons ore milled – dry
- 137 total days operated
- plant availability has ranged from 73.1% to 94.6 %
- the average recovery has been quiet steady at 82%
The 5 tph oxide test plant has been a substantial success on several levels.
First, operation of the plant to date proves the viability of the Buckreef Gold Project to produce gold and therefore provides a considerable de-risking of the mine building efforts at Buckreef.
Several important tests have been conducted providing data for the operation and confirming the flowsheet for expansion of the processing plant to the rate of 40tph.
The main tests to date are:
- Retention times & associated cyanide and lime consumption
- Grind-leach tests & grind media consumption
- Impact of aeration/oxidation
- Optimizing elution
- Effect of preg-robbing, these tests are still in progress
Additionally, the plant has been used to train and develop a crew that will be ready to operate the larger 40 tph plant when it comes online.
Start-up and operation of the test plant has provided months of experience in: (i) understanding the oxide deposit; (ii) areas of mining and earth moving; (iii) stockpile management; (iv) grade blending control; (v) equipment and materials procurement; (vi) local content regulations; (vii) security; and more.
The Company has initiated construction of a large tailings facility to accommodate the targeted expansion of the oxide plant.
As work advances rapidly with the oxide operation, Tanzanian Gold continues to advance the sulphide mine Final Feasibility Study, which is targeted to produce 150,000 oz. to 175,000 oz. of gold production per year.
The Company has begun the process of pit modelling, one of the foremost components of the Final Feasibility Study.
SGS is proceeding with the metallurgical studies to refine the flowsheet for the sulphide plant.
Finally, Tanzanian Gold continues to focus on the value creating exploration opportunities at Buckreef, with a variety of planned drilling programs. The programs include: (i) drilling at ultra-deep levels; (ii) drilling new oxide targets; (iii) infill drilling to upgrade ounces currently in the Inferred category; and (iv) a step-out drilling program in the Northeast Extension.