K92 has confirmed that its Kainantu gold mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG), despite running into several obstacles, achieved record throughput at its plant in the first quarter.

K92 KainantuMineThe Canadian mining operator said in its newly released production figures that the plant’s total was 73,221 tonnes, up 54% from the same quarter of 2020.

As part of that achievement, it met a daily record of 1,315 tpd and another eight days that were over 1,200 tpd. In January and February, a total of six weeks had an average of 1,000 tpd.

Kainantu crews had their work cut out for them during the quarter, only boosting the scale of the milestone. First, an incident involving an underground loader idled its production from four high-grade stopes. 

Despite a three-week stoppage of those stopes in March, they are now restarted and K92 said long-hole stoping at the K1 and K2 veins are moving along in a positive direction.

Finally, operations were impacted by a bulk emulsion explosives shortage that began in mid-January and ran through the end of February. The supply chain disruption was due in large part to the pandemic, rather than a moratorium in PNG on travel, the company noted.

“This was addressed through utilizing less productive alternative explosives [ANFO and packaged explosives] and supplementing mill feed from lower grade stockpiles,” the miner said, noting that there was a significant shipment of bulk emulsion explosives that arrived at the mine site in late February.

“The supplier has diversified sources and is expected to commence domestic production in May, nearby in Lae, to totally mitigate this issue," it added.

All told, K92’s production for the March quarter was 17,774 ounces gold, 426,153 pounds copper and its silver total was 7,925 ounces.

Source: K92 Mining

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