G-Resources’ Martabe Gold-Silver Project in Indonesia achieved another excellent performance during the fourth quarter of 2015. The process plant milled 1.081 million tonnes of ore at 2.75 grams/tonne (g/t) head grade, yielding gold production of 75,831 ounces and silver production of 636,755 ounces.
The quarterly production from the project in North Sumatra contributed to the 2015 total of 302,449 ounces of gold and 2,534,486 ounces of silver. Production exceeded the company’s annual production target while the processing plant annual throughput of 4.22 million tonnes of ore was a record.
As a consequence of the good production and continued focus on the Martabe Improvement Program, all-in-sustaining-costs (AISC) for the fourth quarter were US$493 per ounce sold, down from the third quarter AISC of $520. The 2015 AISC was $503. Gold and silver revenue received from sales was $98 million for the quarter and $391.5 million for the full year.
Towards the end of the fourth quarter, the joint venture of PT NKE and Macmahon started as the new mining contractor at Martabe. Total mine material movements of ore and waste were 2.12 million tonnes for the quarter and 11.5 million tonnes for the year, which was 4% above the plan. The waste to ore strip ratio was at 0.85:1 for the fourth quarter as the mining was focused on ore production rather than waste material for the TSF construction.
The waste to ore strip ratio was at 1.57:1 for the year, which was 4% below the plan.
The process plant continued to perform well with gold recovery 5.2% above plan for the quarter and silver 5.0% below the plan due to more refractory materials and one tank offline for maintenance. For the full year gold and silver recoveries were 81.4% and 65.2% respectively, which were in line with the plan.
In 2016, the company anticipates the Martabe mine will produce 260,000 ounces of gold and approximately 2.3 million ounces of silver. When compared with the 2015 production, gold and silver ounces are lower due to forecast lower ore grades and recoveries. AISC is anticipated to be between $650 and $750 per ounce of gold sold.
One area of continuing challenge is the receipt of contracted grid power from PLN, the Indonesian power provider. In the meantime, power continues to be supplied from the company’s diesel power plant. Consultations and negotiations with PLN are ongoing.
During the fourth quarter, several meetings were convened with PLN which has indicated that it is making endeavours to resolve the grid power supply issue in collaboration with another state-owned company. G-Resources and its consultants are looking at various longer term more cost efficient options.