Persistent heavy rain has hampered the plans of Metals Exploration to get its Runruno Gold Project in the Philippines up to full speed. Runruno is about 340km north of Manila in the mineral-rich province of Nueva Viscaya.
The UK-based company says the mine is currently in the 'test running and debugging' phase and has exported gold dore produced during the testing. However, progress has been slower expected due to incessant rainfall and other factors that have restricted the effective mining of waste materials.
Metals Ex says this has in turn adversely impacted the grade and sulphur content of ore available for processing, though mechanically both the mining fleet and the processing plant have operated well.
Metals Ex first became involved with the Runruno deposit in 2005 and has undertaken extensive scientific and geological surveys since, with extremely encouraging results.
In May 2010 the company announced the results of the Runruno project feasibility study which confirmed the viability of the project, projecting average annual production of 96,700 ounce of gold over a mine life of 10.4 years, at an average forecast operating cost $477 per ounce before any molybdenum credits.
Runruno is a surface mine operation and use the proven BIOX and carbon-in-leach processes to recover gold and molybdenum.
Work has defined a resource of 1.42 million ounces of gold, and 25.6 million pounds of molybdenum with 900,000 ounces of gold reporting to the measured and indicated categories and 780,000 ounces within the mining proven & probable reserve category.
The deposit is within a large alkaline volcanic complex, approximately 3.5km in diameter, of which less than 15% has been effectively explored presenting substantial exploration upside.