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Kalsaka gold mine launches production

Cluff Gold plc – a West African focused gold mining company listed on the AIM and TSX – has announced that its Kalsaka mine in Burkina Faso has been successfully commissioned.

Revealing this in a statement issued here, the company pointed out that gold had first been poured at the Kalsaka mine in October 2008 and that during the commissioning period its performance had increased incrementally each month.

It added that total gold production for the first six months of 2009 had amounted to 26 772 oz at a cash operating cost of US$595 per oz. Forecast production for the full year was 60 000 ounces.

“The successful commissioning of the Kalsaka gold mine is a direct result of a strong team that has worked diligently to advance this project from development into operations,” said CEO Algy Cluff. “However, this is just phase one. It is our intention to increase the capacity of the plant at Kalsaka, and to increase our resource base to the extent that the Kalsaka gold mine becomes the hub for the development of satellite deposits in this area. With the increased throughput, we believe we will achieve better than our forecast production for the year at a lower cash cost per ounce,” he added.

The Kalsaka gold mine – located approximately 150km north-west of Ouagadougou – contains an oxide gold mineral resource that has already been demonstrated by a feasibility study to be technically amenable to open-pit mining and processing via heap leaching. The mine has total measured and indicated resource of 12.1 million tonnes at 1.6 g/t Au and 3.3 million tonnes of inferred resource at 1.5g/t Au.

Cluff holds a 78% ownership of the project, the remaining interest being held by the company’s local partner, IMAR-B (12%) and the government of Burkina Faso (10% free-carried interest).

Cluff Gold is focused on the identification, acquisition and development of gold deposits in West Africa that are amenable to openpit mining and low cost production techniques. The company has assembled a portfolio of mineral interests at various stages of development in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and Mali. Cluff Gold progressed from being an explorer to a producer in Q1 2008, and is expected to produce 100 000 ounces of gold on an annualised basis for 2009 from its Angovia gold mine in Cote d’Ivoire and from its Kalsaka gold mine in Burkina Faso. It is also actively evaluating known satellite deposits to expand the resource base at both mines.