MACO Gold Project in the Compostela Valley of Mindanao established a new daily record by producing an average of 1525 tonnes of ore by the end of June. This surpassed Apex Mining’s targeted daily production of 1500 tonnes.
Output increased by 34% in the June quarter to 203,476 tonnes of ore from 152,136 tonnes in the same period of 2015.
During the quarter the mill averaged close to 1400 tonnes of ore per day, up from 1100 tonnes of ore per day in the same quarter of 2015. The improved throughput is a result of continuing efforts to attain Apex’s objective of milling at the rate of 1500 tonnes per day by the early part of the second half of 2016. This objective was, however, achieved by the end of June.
Despite lower ore grades in the June quarter of 5.0 grams/tonne (g/t) gold and 31.7 g/t silver compared to 5.6 g/t gold and 32.4 g/t silver 12 months earlier, the higher tonnage resulted in new record levels of metal outputs. Gold production reached 26,577 ounces, 31% higher than the 20,334 ounces produced in 2015 while silver produced was 140,317 ounces, 31% higher than the 107,036 ounces produced in 2015.
Mill recoveries averaged 81% for gold and 68% for silver in the quarter compared to Q2 2015 recoveries of 78% and 65%. This also contributed to the higher metal outputs.
The Maco mine is securing its ISO 14001 certification, with the first stage of the review of the mine’s processes completed in July with the second stage scheduled for mid-August. The audit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was conducted from August 4 to 7.
In May the company’s 98%-owned subsidiary Itogon-Suyoc Resources made its first shipment of 558 ounces of incidental gold produced in the rehabilitation of the Sangilo mine in Itogon, Benguet. Since Apex’s acquisition of this subsidiary in June 2015, rehabilitation of the Sangilo mine has progressed with the mill set to run at the initial rate of 75 tonnes a day.
“While this is still way below the 1400 tonnes per day operation that the mine is gearing itself to achieve in 2019, it is solid proof of the engineering capability of the mine’s technical staff to make the mine fully operational in due time,” said Apex president and CEO Walter Brown.