East Africa focused gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold has reported steady gold production in line with expectations in its production and operational results for the quarter ended September 30.
The report covers the company’s East African assets, comprising the New Luika and Singida gold mines, in Tanzania, and the West Kenya project, in Kenya.
“Our performance over the third quarter demonstrates the stable and reliable production volumes we have worked hard to achieve, with group gold production across our two operating mines of 27,935 oz in line with expectations and materially increasing our confidence in meeting our stated guidance of up to 98 000 oz, which we will review as we get closer to the end of the year,” Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin said in a statement on 23 October.
He noted that the company’s newest mine, Singida, continued to perform strongly, with 9 664 oz produced during the third quarter, exceeding internal third-quarter forecasts by 15%.
Throughout the quarter, production remained above 3,000 oz a month, and operating costs and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) were better than budgeted.
Production at New Luika reached 18,271 oz.
The company achieved balance sheet deleveraging with net debt reduced to $4.9-million, down 44% from $8.7-million in the second quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation stood at $19-million.
For the group, the cash operating costs were $757/oz, while the AISC amounted to $1,023/oz.
At the New Luika operation, the cash operating costs were $970/oz, and the AISC stood at $1,279/oz.
Meanwhile, at the Singida mine, the cash operating costs were $713/oz, and the AISC was $899/oz.
Shanta has no gold hedging, making it 100% exposed to the spot gold price. Available liquidity was $26.5-million at the end of September, compared with $25-million in the second quarter, including $10-million undrawn from the Stanbic Revolving Credit facility.
The company maintained a strong safety record with a total recordable incident frequency rate of zero in the third quarter and year to date, with no lost-time injuries.
Available liquidity includes unrestricted cash, the sale value of doré available for sale at the end of the period, net of royalties and expected selling costs.
Zurrin stated that exploration activities continued during the quarter in both West Kenya and Tanzania.
In West Kenya, infill drilling totalling 8,387 m took place, with an additional 10,000 m planned for the fourth quarter.
At New Luika, the Phase 1 drilling programme is ongoing, and at Singida, the first few holes at the western deeper extension of Jem pitshell were initiated.
With the company’s net debt reduced to $4.9-million, Zurrin believes Shanta is now in an optimal position to further enhance growth initiatives.
Source: Mining Weekly