HARARE, May 28 (The Source) – AIM-listed gold junior Vast Resources projects a July commissioning of its plant at its Pickstone-Peerless joint venture mine 100 kilometres south-west of Harare, with the first bullion deliveries seen by August.
Vast, previously known as African Consolidated Resources (AFCR), owns 50 percent of the Chegutu mine, with the other half being controlled by Grayfox Investments, a consortium of Zimbabwean investors. Ore stockpiling will commence in June 2015, with the gold processing plant scheduled to undergo hot commissioning in July 2015, the company said in a progress update on Thursday.
“Maiden gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers, the Zimbabwe State refining facility, are expected in August 2015,” Vast Resources said.
The firm said it expects positive cash flows to be achieved later in the second half of 2015.
An ore stockpile will be created in June 2015 ready for first commissioning and first production in August 2015. Annualised gold production of 10,000 – 12,000 gold ounces is expected from the initial mining rate of 10,000 tonnes per month.
Vast CEO Roy Pitchford, an old Zimbabwe mining hand, said: “We are very pleased with the progress made to date in developing Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine and with the build quality of the ore processing plant. The working relationship with joint owners, Grayfox Investments (Pvt) Ltd, is excellent and both parties look forward to commencing operations shortly. Expansion options are under consideration for implementation as soon as practicable.”
The 584ha Pickstone-Peerless gold mine has historically produced over 400,000oz of gold.
The current plant design is expected to exploit the oxide gold cap at Pickstone-Peerless, which has an estimated life of six years. During this period, expansion of the plant to treat the open cast sulphides, at a rate at least double the current monthly volume will be evaluated,” the company said.
Zimbabwe expects gold output to reach 16,7 tonnes of gold in 2015, an 8,7 percent increase from last year after increased output from custom millers, according to the country’s mining chamber.
Gold production has been recovering since the country dollarized and liberalized bullion trade in 2009. Output had plunged to an all-time low of 3 tonnes at the peak of an economic and political crisis in 2008, when most big mines were forced shut.