Olympus Pacific Minerals says 2011 production results from its Phuoc Son and Bong Mieu gold plants in central Vietnam are 29% above the 2010 figures.
The company had forecast a 40,000 ounce recovery for 2011 and total gold produced was 42,868 ounces, with 19,849 ounces produced in the last quarter. Olympus says this bumper result was achieved despite the Phuoc Son plant commissioning being delayed by several months because of record monsoon rains.
It is the fifth consecutive year the company has increased its gold production, and makes the 2012 target of 60,000-70,000 ounces highly achievable.
Due to scheduled general plant maintenance and the two-week Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday from January 23, Olympus’ first quarter 2012 gold production is expected to be lower compared to the previous quarter, but this won’t adversely affect the company's 2012 production forecast.
The Phuoc Son mill now regularly operates at its current design capacity of 500 tonnes per day. Olympus says it will continue to mine the Bai Dat deposit while developing the Bai Go deposit to extract its first ore by May 2012.
The company’s productive Vietnamese operations are providing cash flow to fund some of its other development opportunities in East Malaysia and the Philippines.
Late last year, Olympus received a certificate of merit from the provincial People’s Committee as recognition of its investment in the central Vietnam region, primarily regarding the Phuoc Son plant.
Olympus completed construction of the new state-of-the-art plant in the first quarter of 2011, and commissioned it in June, to become its second gold production facility in Vietnam since 2005.
The gold exploration and production company employs almost 1,200 workers of which 90% are Vietnamese.
In other news, the company has also appointed a new deputy chair to the board after the resignation of Doug Willock. Kevin Tomlinson has 30 years’ experience in the international mining sector.