Allied Gold is commissioning the refurbished processing plant at its Gold Ridge project in the Solomon Islands with first gold expected early this month. The plant is expected to annually produce 120,000 ounces of gold.
All major project construction and refurbishment activities associated with the $150 million redevelopment have been completed. Mining activities began in October from the Valehaichichi pit and more than 200,000 tonnes of ore has been stockpiled in advance of milling and processing activities.
Allied's executive chairman Mark Caruso says, “It is just 11 months since Allied began redevelopment, construction and refurbishment activities. Allied and its contractors have compressed the project timeline and delivered Gold Ridge six months ahead of previous study estimates.
“Everyone involved can take great credit in not only delivering the $150 million project, but delivering it on time and on budget. Like all commissioning activities it may take a few months or quarters to move to steady operation - but we eagerly look forward to first gold in coming weeks.”
Gold Ridge has a minimum mine life of 10 years with an expected mine average grade of 1.7 grams/tonne and gold recoveries to average 82%.
Commissioning and ramp up during the first 3-6 months will initially use lower grade ore which may result in recoveries commencing in the low to mid 70% range before high-grade Namachamata pit ore is blended.
Allied acquired Gold Ridge in the Solomon Islands in late 2009 when it acquired Toronto-listed Australian Solomons Gold.