HomeGoldAlgerian gold mine hindered by logistical constraints

Algerian gold mine hindered by logistical constraints

GMA Resources CEO Douglas Perkins says that the company is building up inventory levels at its Amesmessa gold mine in Algeria to counter the long and complicated supply chain. “The supply chain and bureaucratic problems in Algeria continue to hinder GMA’s production and resultant income levels.”

That aside, and while worldwide equity markets still appear to be recovering, the company believes that the appetite for junior gold companies that have production is picking up.

Amesmessa produced 18,637 ounces of gold in the first half of 2009, compared with 10,620 ounces in the second half of 2008. Gold is recovered from leech pads and GMA anticipates that at current recovery rates it will be able to recuperate about 30,000 ounces from leaching over the next year. The other ounces will remain on the pad for processing sometime in the future when the company is in a position to employ other technology such as carbon-inleach (CIL).

GMA had anticipated a recovery rate from the heap at 72% based upon a 120 day leaching test period completed for the feasibility study. Its actual recovery rate for the first six months of this year was some 42%. It was unable to leach as many panels on the pad as planned, and it was unable to leave ore under leach for as long as planned due to lack of parts. Thus it has been leaching each area for a shorter period to obtain the gold from the early phase of the leach cycle only.

The other issue relates to crush size. With the crusher spares problems the operation has not been able to crush to the deemed optimum size for this leaching process. That causes the grade of solution to be lower, as more gold is being left on the pads for future recovery.

An ancillary issue experienced related to getting higher grades of gold from the mine than planned. The gold mined was often nugget-like in nature and did not dissolve as well as the finer gold which was anticipated, based upon the bulk samples analysed during the feasibility phase. While it is positive that the mine is finding higher grade gold than anticipated, the effect on the heap leach recovery is to lower the recovered percentage.

This gold is not lost, but will eventually be recovered by longer leach periods or treatment of the leach pads by conventional CIL process.