HomeGoldBurnstone may quadruple production this year

Burnstone may quadruple production this year

Vancouver, Canada — 03 April 2012 – Great Basin Gold Limited’s (GBG’s) Burnstone mine in South Africa “’ which produced 20% below its revised guidance of 30,000oz in the 2011 financial year “’ may achieve an output of close to 100,0000z in the current financial year.

As far as the overall GBG performance was concerned, the newly-released results reflected a year-on-year increase of 27% in Au eqv oz produced and a70% increase in revenue. The major highlight of the year was the completion of the Burnstone capital project and the launch of commercial production in February 2011.

The production ramp up at Burnstone continued during 2011, with ore development metres increasing by 149% from 1,167m in Q1 2011 to 2,900m in Q4 2011. Stoping square meters rose by 77% from 3,760 in Q1 of 2011 to 6,653 in Q4 of 2011. Results from the long hole stoping mining method remain positive, with stoping widths of approximately 80 cm being achieved on a consistent basis.

The expected production range also allows for the previously disclosed upgrade and
completion of underground and shaft infrastructure. “Achieving the planned production build-up would allow the Burnstone mine to generate positive cash flow after capital investment (assuming a gold price of US$1,650 and a US$/ZAR exchange rate of 7.50) during the third quarter of 2012,” the statement predicted.

In an information form accompanying GBG’s results for fiscal 2011 the company said: “Following a review of the current production levels and progress of underground development and infrastructure, the company expects Burnstone to produce between 90,000 and 100,000 Au oz at a cash cost of US$900 to US$1,000/oz for the 2012 fiscal year.”

The statement added that these cash cost targets represented a marked improvement on the US$1,801/ oz achieved in 2011. As planned, the high ratio of development to stoping ore would continue to impact on the head grade delivered to the mill and cash costs for the balance of 2012.

“All equipment required for the production build up is in place. All of our mining teams are currently in place and are undergoing intensive team training to enable them to plan, assess and adjust to the constantly increasing rate of production,” the statement continued.

The metallurgical plant is performing in line with expectation with 775,524t processed during 2011 “’ an average of 65,000tpm. Mill feed is controlled to account for the lower than planned ore from development and stopes with the mill capacity being in excess of 145,000tpm.

GBG president and CEO Ferdi Dippenaar said that Burnstone, in its first year of production build-up, had made significant strides but was constrained by unexpected geological and infrastructural challenges.

“Significant improvements have been, and are being made to the shaft and permanent underground infrastructure. The continued improvement in ore development and stoping rates at Burnstone is reassuring, with more improvement expected in the second quarter of 2012 to get to the planned production levels,” he assured.

Source: Great Basin Gold. For more information click here.