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Tietto Minerals sets more production records at African gold mine

Updated: Apr 16

Tietto Minerals has delivered record quarterly production figures at its Abujar gold mine in West Africa. Credit: File

Tietto Minerals has set a new quarterly production record for its Abujar gold mine at Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa to deliver more than 35,500 ounces at an improved grade of 0.98 grams per tonne.

The company processed more than 1.175 million tonnes of ore at a plant recovery of 95 per cent to set the latest record of 35,553 ounces – an increase from 33,753 ounces for the September quarter and 15,653 ounces from the June period.

The impressive quarterly figures follow news earlier this month that the company had smashed its monthly production record at Abujar by more than 1750 ounces, delivering 13,871 glittering gold ounces in December alone. The high production numbers also show a new record monthly head grade of 1.16g/t gold at 95.2 per cent recovery and a record high of more than 600 tonnes milled per hour for 374,000 tonnes.

The increased production was recorded from just 26 days of operation in December following a scheduled five-day shutdown for an annual mill reline.

Management says ore mined rose to a record level of 508,000 tonnes following an average of 349,000 tonnes in each of the previous six months from June through to November. It says it now holds cash, bullion and value-added tax (VAT) receivables totalling $82.8 million at the end of 2023, which represents an 84 per cent increase from $45 million at the end of the September quarter.

Three additional excavators brought into service by the company’s mining contractor in November allowed higher-grade ore to be presented to the mill, while lower-grade ore was stockpiled. Its previous monthly production record came in October last year after delivering 12,057 gold ounces, with a milling output of 4.7 million tonnes per annum.

Higher production in December as we continue to resolve mining and processing bottlenecks enabled us to end the quarter with A$82.8M (unaudited) of cash, bullion and VAT receivable following further debt repayments of A$10.2M. We are confident of continuing to generate strong cashflow as we achieve full production at Abujar in H1 2024 following substantial and continuing improvements across mining, milling and production in Q4 2023. Tietto Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Matt Wilcox

In November last year, the company revealed a new nine-year life-of-mine plan for its Abujar gold mine after updating its mineral reserves. It outlined new plans for the mine to operate up to at least 2032 and management has estimated the average yearly production at a serious 170,000 ounces of gold.

The plans show a production head grade of 1.04g/t gold, assuming an increased plant throughput of 5.5 million tonnes per annum by next year, for total production of 1.53 million ounces. Tax and cashflow sums are all based on a price of US$1900 (AU$2990) per ounce of gold, but Tietto is confident Abujar will be operating with nearly the lowest life-of-mine processing costs within the West African gold mining industry of just US$7.13 (AU$11.22) per tonne.

Abujar sits about 30km from the major regional city of Daloa in central western Côte D’Ivoire and is comprised of three contiguous exploration areas for a total land area of 1114 square kilometres, with less than 10 per cent explored. In December 2020, a gold exploitation (mining) licence within the Abujar Middle exploration tenement – which covers an area of 120.36 sq km – was granted.

Management says the West African operation remains on track to achieve full production levels by the second half of this year.

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