IN line with Monument Mining’s Oxide Magnetite Development Plan at the Mengapur Polymetallic Project, further exploration and development activities are continuing. The exploration program is focusing on identification of oxide magnetite material and during the March quarter this included 821 metres of drilling in 14 drill holes.
Under phase 1 of the development plan, Monument is also undertaking metallurgical test work to design and ultimately commission a magnetite concentration processing plant with daily capacity of 7000 tonnes. Research and development continues on the magnetic separation process. This process progressed strongly during the March quarter, as the company advances towards development of a marketable magnetite product.
Meanwhile, production continues at the Selinsing Gold Project and during the quarter 7487 ounces of gold were produced, down from 13,255 ounces in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Production in the nine months to March 31 was 26,590 ounces, down from 40,063 in the corresponding period 12 months earlier.
The lower production coincided with the mill being fed with low grade oxide and leachable sulphide materials, according to the 2014 mine plan, which also resulted in lower gold recovery. This was partially offset by higher mill throughput.
Monument says its mill processing team has identified operating and process improvements that will lead to increased overall gold recovery rate. The company will mine and process the higher grade sulphide materials thereafter once the phase IV processing facility is in place.
Ore processed in the quarter was 263,990 tonnes, a 12% increase compared to the same period in 2013. Ore processed for the nine months ended March 31 was 765,613 tonnes, an increase of 14% compared to the same period last year. In contrast, calculated gold content of ore processed for the quarter was 8248 ounces, a 27% decrease compared to 11,354 ounces for the corresponding period. Actual gold poured (recovered) for the quarter was 7445 ounces, a 39% decrease compared to 12,162 ounces poured for the same period of 2013. Gold recovery for the quarter was 75.76% which was 4.78% higher than the previous quarter.
The mining operation for the quarter and the nine months resulted in lower ore extraction and higher strip ratio due to a push back of the west high wall at the Selinsing open pit in order to access an additional oxide ore body. Ore mined for the quarter was 101,955 tonnes, a 64% decrease compared to the same period of 2013. For the nine months ended March 31, the total was 405,347 tonnes, a 29% decrease from the corresponding period.