Metallon Q1 output falls 15pct as power outages worsen

Metallon Q1 output falls 15pct as power outages worsen

HARARE, May 5 (The Source) – Metallon Gold’s first quarter production dropped 15 percent to 20,673 ounces due to increased power outages and machinery breakdown at its key How Mine, the company said on Thursday.

Metallon, Zimbabwe’s the largest gold producer, said it lost approximately 4,275oz to the outages,  forcing the group to consider alternative power sources.

How Mine produced 9,540oz compared to 13,680oz in the prior period last yearafter breakdowns at its Primary Mill and North Shaft Hoist in January and February,dragging down the group’s overall output.

Metallon’s Shamva, Mazowe, Arcturus and Redwing mines all reported higher output comparatively.

All the mines reported profits, chief executive Ken Mekani said without giving figures.

Costs per ounce were higher at $1,160 compared to $962 in the same period last year due to production shortfalls and increased expenditure, but Metallonexpects these to come down as output and efficiencies improve with new equipment and improved capacity.

Metallon said construction on the new Mazowe Processing Plant and the new Tailing Facilities at both Mazowe and Shamva Mine were progressing well, with commissioning expected in the third quarter.

“The new Mazowe Processing Plant will increase capacity at the mine to 70,000 tonnes per month, therefore the mine will be producing approximately 22,000 ounces per annum,” Metallon said.

The new plant will create approximately 100 direct jobs and additional employment opportunities, it added.

“This year we will be investing in our assets by refurbishing and upgrading operations and expanding capacity which will deliver economies of scale and significantly lower costs,” said Mekani.

“This investment and the exploration taking place will put Metallon on course to increased production over the next five years.”

Metallon has targetted to produce 120,000oz in 2016, up from 105,000oz last year.