In November, Morila treated 544,714 tonnes of tailings at a grade of 0.46 g/t gold and produced 4,130 ounces of gold at a recovery of 51%.
All-in cost is about US$1,000 to $1,100 per ounce of gold. The tailings treatment operations are forecast to produce 4,000 to 4,100 ounces of gold in December and 10,000 to 10,500 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2021.
Cash flow to fund activities
Firefinch executive chairman Dr Alistair Cowden said: “We are delighted that Morila has transitioned to Firefinch ownership without incident, the tailings operations are robust and producing good cashflow to fund plant refurbishment and other activities.
“We hope to update the market on definitive milestones on the path to resume open pit mining in coming months.”
Aircore drilling to delineate additional mineralised tailings has been completed and modest extensions to the tailings resource are expected.
The drilling results are being modelled and the production plan will be updated.
Re-start open pit mining
The company is applying cash flow from the tailings operations to fund capital works and studies to enable the restart of open pit mining at Morila.
These activities include:
➢ Mine planning: Developing a mine plan and schedule for the Morila satellite pits and tender for mining contractors;
➢ Tailings and water management: Reconfiguring the tailings storage facility to cease depositing tailings in the Morila pit and deposit tailings within the existing tailings storage facility footprint and dewatering of the pit;
➢ Plant: Refurbishment of the processing plant;
➢ Satellite Drilling: Drilling at satellite pits to improve confidence and potentially increase resources;
➢ Potential new ore feed: Evaluating stockpiles and potential remnant shallow mineralisation adjacent to the Morila pit evident from new data; and
➢ Exploration Drilling: Aircore drilling of targets on the Morila lease and on the adjacent Massigui Project
Updated mineral resource estimate
Since assuming ownership of the mine, Firefinch has accessed additional drilling and grade control data for the main Morila deposit and low-grade stockpiles.
It is verifying the data, which will be incorporated into an updated mineral resource estimate for the Morila deposit, now expected in early 2021.
The basis of the new resource is extensive 3D modelling at a lower cut-off grade than previously applied.