Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) (LON:RSG) has completed the first stage of its Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP) at the Ravenswood Gold Mine in Queensland.

This comprised a five-month program to refurbish the third grinding mill at the Nolans processing plant increasing site processing capacity to 5 million tonnes per annum.

Stage 1 enables the processing of available stockpiled material to target production of 80,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of around A$1,600 per ounce.

Importantly, Ravenswood is now producing positive operating cash flows, which are expected to continue during further expansion development stages.

The development period for the full REP is estimated at 24 months and has the potential to deliver 200,000 ounces of gold per annum for 15 years from 2022.

Increase in processing capacity supports cash flow

Resolute’s managing director and CEO John Welborn said: “The strategic review of the Ravenswood Expansion Project continues to demonstrate we are creating value for Resolute.

“Increasing the plant capacity at Ravenswood to 5Mtpa and using this capacity to beneficiate and process available low-grade stockpiles, delivers an immediately cashflow positive, profitable mining operation at Ravenswood. More importantly, it is a step towards the much larger production base that we believe is possible at Ravenswood.

“During 2020, the strategic review will now evaluate the future capital demands of the full REP, contemplate the timing of an investment decision on Stage 2, and how best to maximise value for Resolute shareholders from this potential.

“The completion of Stage 1 of the REP, and the ongoing value being created at Ravenswood, is consistent with a core strength of Resolute: mining smarter, using advanced technologies and innovative techniques to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”

Recent drill results support Syama future growth

Recently, Resolute received results from resource extension drilling at satellite prospects nearby to its Syama Gold Mine in Mali.

The drilling focused on expanding the JORC resources at Tabakoroni as well as build on the open-pit oxide resource inventory at Tabakoroni, Cashew and Paysans.

Highlights from Tabakoroni drilling included the confirmation of high-grade shoots with 12 metres at 93.16 g/t gold from 133 metres.

Planning for the development of a new underground mine at Tabakoroni has commenced and drilling at Tabakoroni will continue throughout 2020.

With the recent successful recommissioning of the sulphide circuit following successful repairs at its Syama Gold Mine, Resolute continues to target 400,000 ounces of gold production in FY19.