RIZAL Resources continues to advance the T’Boli Gold Project in southern Mindanao towards full production. It has recommissioned the mill while mine development activities are advancing as part of a two-year plan with the objective of recommencing production and delivering positive operating margins.

Rizal says the team has been pushing hard to realise the production plan, while continuing efforts to raise the remaining capital needed to fund the project through its commissioning and ramp-up phase. Since the beginning of 2017, the company has had lower cashflow than budgeted, which slowed progress, but it has managed to advance the project towards production.

The plant was recommissioned in February and 3587 tonnes of mineralised material was treated in the March quarter. The rate of commissioning was slowed due to some mechanical issues in the crushing and grinding circuit but by the end of the quarter, most of these had been resolved.

By the end of March quarter, there had been 18.16 ounces of gold produced and by the end of April, the plant had produced 182 ounces. Maintenance in May saw ball mill liners replaced and a new primary crusher installed.

The key focus in the short term has been to access remnant material in the upper level of the mine had left behind by previous small-scale miners, with the objective of increasing gold production.

The plan for the remainder of May and June was to operate the plant at its daily design rate of 200 tonnes, however grade estimation has been difficult due to the unknown quantity of higher-grade material that may have been mined.

Rizal’s subsidiary TMC has two mining contractors undertaking mine development work, MPC and Conex Mining Contractors. MPC, formerly Magdrills, was the sole mining contractor until December 2016 and Conex commenced as primary contractor on decline development in February.

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

MPC has 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.

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