Commissioning of the mill has commenced at Rizal Resources’ T’Boli Gold Project in southern Mindanao, the Philippines. Decline and mine development activities are also advancing as part of the company’s two-year plan with the primary objective of recommencing production and delivering positive operating margins from T’Boli on an accelerated basis.

Rizal says development of the new Minion decline continues and has achieved a total driven distance of 1115 metres. This includes total decline, cross cuts and drive development of 467 metres, 208 metres and 265 metres, respectively. Total decline depth to date is 55 metres below the access portal entrance.

The Minion decline is a standard 3.5 x 3.5 metre tunnel, while drive development is presently 2.4 metres high x 2.0 metres wide and designed for an optimised combination of mechanised and hand-held mining activities.

Rizal’s current T’Boli strategy includes reviewing and considering options to access both new and previously-worked areas of mineralised material within the mine.

Rizal’s local operating partner and subsidiary TMC has two mining contractors undertaking mine development work, MPC and Conex Mining Contractors. MPC, formerly known as Magdrills, was the sole mining contractor up until December 2016. Conex subsequently commenced as the primary contractor on decline development during February 2017.

Conex is focused on rapidly extending the decline to provide access to the previously unmined 510 level and, more particularly, to the South Vein. The current inferred resource estimate of 1.1 million ounces indicates generally higher grades and wider intercepts within the South Vein.

MPC has now shifted its focus from the decline to drive development, preparing near-term access in the upper 540 level to sections of mineralised material identified in the inferred resource.

In the development process to date, a total of 5270 tonnes of mineralised material has been brought to surface and delivered to the mill. This material is being treated during the mill commissioning phase, which commenced in February.

Rizal CEO Peter Main said, “We are excited that mine development activities at T’Boli have now established a robust platform from which growing production rates are expected over the coming weeks and months.

“Mill commissioning has also commenced with a concurrent ramp-up in processing levels a key focus alongside mining rates. We remain committed to delivering strong positive operating margins from T’Boli as output reaches targeted Phase 1 levels.”

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