|Crushed ore at the processing plant of Medusa Mining’s Co-O Gold Project.|
MEDUSA Mining produced more gold from its Co-O project on Mindanao during the March quarter than in the previous quarter but was short of forecasts due to flooding in January. There were 16,200 ounces of gold produced at an average head grade of 4.20 grams/tonne and cash costs of US$398 per ounce.
Production was higher than the previous quarter due to the continuous operation of its new SAG Mill while cash costs were lower primarily due to increased production. The average gold price of US$1299 was higher than the previous quarter but lower than the US$1630 of the corresponding quarter of 2013.
Medusa said all mine shafts continued to operate during the quarter and the deepening of the Baguio Shaft was successfully completed to Level 5. This shaft hauls ore from Levels 3 and 5. It said parts of the mine were flooded in January due to unseasonal heavy rains and some development headings were temporarily stopped.
It said production from stoping was increasing and a greater percentage of stope ore was expected to be mined and trucked to the mill in the June quarter. The rain also disrupted ore transport to the mill due to landslides along the haul road.
Despite the floods, the company said underground development at Co-O was maintained at the monthly target rate of 1500 metres, which should continue for the remainder of 2014.
The new Co-O SAG Mill operated satisfactorily throughout the quarter, achieving its daily nameplate throughput of 2500 tonnes on a number of occasions. The tonnage throughput was operating at below capacity during the second quarter to improve grind size and recoveries. Medusa said once gold recoveries improved, the tonnage throughput would be increased accordingly.
The Dominion and Kurimoto Ball Mills were re-lined in the March quarter and the old mill is now on care and maintenance. All other equipment and functions associated with the processing plant, including the primary crusher, detoxification unit, thickener, CIL tanks and gold room operated successfully throughout the quarter.
Exploration is continuing with five underground drill rigs utilized at Co-O. A total of 21 holes were completed at Co-O Levels 2, 3 and 8 during the quarter for an advance of 5976 metres. The company has subsequently deployed the remaining five new portable underground diamond drill rigs to various levels to assist in exploring for zones of additional mineralization.
Three surface rigs also operated at the B2 area of the Tambis project, which comprises Bananghilig deposit. Two large capacity and one man-portable drill rigs completed six holes for 1820.2 metres. One hole returned an intersection of 1.95 metres from 143.7 metres @ 6.03 grams/tonne gold with other results still pending.