THE mine and process plant at G-Resources’ Martabe Gold-Silver Project in North Sumatra continues to operate well with gold production still exceeding target and costs continuing to be lowered. During 2013 the mine produced 281,477 ounces of gold and more than 1.5 million ounces of silver. Gold production exceeded the mine base operating plan of 250,000 ounces and also the revised guidance provided in July 2013 of 280,000 ounces.
An aerial view of the processing plant at G-Resources’ Martabe Gold-Silver Project in North Sumatra.
During the December quarter there were 72,500 ounces of gold poured and 454,584 ounces of silver poured, yielding a total of 1,515,228 ounces for the full year. Gold and silver revenue received from sales totalled US$93 million for the quarter and US$429 million for the full year.
Site operating costs for the quarter were again under budget as management continued to seek operating improvements across all activities. Cash costs to gold under the North American Gold Institute Standard were $447 per ounce poured for the quarter and $483 per ounce for the full year. All-in sustaining costs under the World Gold Council guidelines were $757 per ounce sold for the quarter and $799 per ounce for the full year.
Mining operations at Purnama are proceeding according to plan with total ore and waste mined meeting the target for the quarter and the year. Grade control reconciliation with the mill head grade is good. The waste to ore strip ratio remained low at 1.47:1, and for the full year 1.85:1, reflecting the higher waste mining in the early part of the year as the Purnama pit was being opened up.
The process plant has continued to perform reasonably well with both gold and silver recovery rates better than anticipated. Mill throughput has continued to be a challenge and studies are underway to provide a secondary crushing facility which will improve overall mill throughput.
Gold poured for the year was more than 12% above nameplate and silver poured, whilst below plan, continued to increase quarter on quarter. Gold and silver recoveries are both better than plan.
Expenditure on exploration was ramped up in the last quarter after being slowed down for cost savings measures between April and September. The number of drill rigs in operation was increased from 2 to 5. Activities in the quarter focused on drilling under Purnama to develop the sulphide deposits as well as potential extensions to oxide resources at Barani, Tor Uluala, Purnama East and West and Uluala Hulu.
In the first half of 2013, G-Resources more than replaced reserves from the Purnama deposit depleted during the first year of mine life. Substantial resources remain outside reserves at all deposits, representing upside for further conversion of resources to reserves.