ASANKO Gold was on track to produce 225,000 to 245,000 ounces for the 2019 financial year despite adjusting the operating period lower seven days in order to align its calendar with Gold Fields, the firm with which it is now in joint venture.
Gold Fields said in March last year that it would pay $165m for a 50% share of Asanko’s 90% stake in Asanko Gold Mines (AGM), the Ghanaian subsidiary.
In addition, Gold Fields assisted in the recapitalisation of Asanko Gold by means of a share subscription through a rights issue in which it took a 9.9% for $17.6m. All in all, Gold Fields spent $202.6m for roughly 100,000 oz of gold annually.
Commenting on its first quarter’s performance, Asanko said it had started production from the Esaase pit – an operating area under AGM’s operating ambit that was a motivation for Gold Fields’ decision to invest in the company – delivering 0.39 million tonnes (Mt) of ore at a gold grade of 1.3 grams per ton (g/t) with 0.78Mt of waste mined.
Total gold production for the quarter was 60,425 ounces with gold sales of 53,421 oz at an average realised price of $1,311/oz. Revenue from gold sales totalled $69m for the joint venture. At the end of the quarter, the joint venture held approximately $30.5m in unaudited cash and immediately convertible working capital balances, the company said.
“We are pleased with the ramp-up of the mining and trucking operation at Esaase and are now mining at the planned mining rates of 350,000 – 450,000 tonnes per month,” said Peter Breese, president and COO. “We expect to continue with our development timetable at Esaase with some key infrastructure projects set to commence this quarter,” he said.