Asa gold production up 6pct in Q2, nickel output rises as prices fall

Asa gold production up 6pct in Q2, nickel output rises as prices fall

HARARE, November 17  (The Source) –  Asa Resource Group, formerly Mwana Africa, on Tuesday said its 85 percent owned Freda Rebecca mine recorded a 6,4 percent increase in gold production to 18,067 ounces in the quarter to September on improved feed grade and recoveries.

The average feed grade during the quarter increased by six percent to 2.15 grammes per tonne while gold recovery rate increased by two percentage points to 84 percent.

During the quarter under review, 309,102 tonnes were milled which was five percent higher than the previous quarter.

All in sustaining costs fell six percent to $1,023 per ounce.

Nickel production at the Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) owned Trojan mine was up seven percent to 1,442 tonnes compared to the previous quarter, mainly due to an increase in average head grade and recoveries.

Asa holds a 75.4 percent controlling interest in BNC, which is listed locally.

Head grade was 31 percent higher at 1.62 percent while recovery was four percent higher at 87.6 percent.

The nickel price averaged $6,847 per tonne, 19 percent lower on the previous quarter. Sales were 18 percent higher at 1,494 tonnes.

Cash costs for nickel in concentrate dropped by 23 percent to $6,895 per tonne and all-in sustaining costs of nickel in concentrate also fell similarly to $7,539 per tonne.

Asa executive chairman Yat Hoi Ning said focus at both mines had been on containing unit costs in response to weakening metal prices and grade control.

“We have achieved these results by implementing a new mining plan at Trojan and improved grade control at Freda Rebecca. At the same time, the operating and overhead costs have been strictly controlled, again a process that will continue as metal prices move through and out of their current trough. The immediate, near term outlook is for further price challenges,” said Ning in a statement accompanying the quarterly update.