Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) (FRA:N9F) has passed another operational milestone with its first production blast at the Morila Gold Project in Mali since 2015.

Malian owned and operated contractor EGTF carried out the recent drill and blast activities at the gold operations.

EGTF had commenced mining operations at Morila Pit 5 in early May with the initial phases of mining undertaken with free dig material.

Notably, all work is progressing safely on schedule with both reconciled recovery and grade through the plant being above forecast.

“Delivering on obvious potential”

Firefinch managing director Michael Anderson said: “Malian owned and operated contractor EGTF has performed very well in delivering the mine production schedule for Morila Pit 5 since May 2021.

“To date, the free dig material mined has contributed to our recently announced strong June 2021 production performance.

“The recent drill and blast represent another significant milestone as we progress towards delivering on Morila’s obvious potential, and we are pleased to be doing this work safely and efficiency, with great Malian capability.”

Progress to deeper benches

Firefinch has progressed mining operations to deeper benches of ore at Pit 5 permitting access to fresh rock that will generate processing optionality with the presentation of fresh, transitional and oxide ores, consistent with the historical mining environment at Morila.

The Morila site team is now undertaking the full suite of mine operations activities safely in Pit 5 ahead of commencing operations at additional satellite pits in August 2021, and the Morila Super Pit in the first half of 2022.

Among world’s highest grades

The Morilla Gold Mine has produced more than 7.5 million ounces of gold since 2000 at grades that were among the highest in the world for open pit gold production, earning it the nickname of ‘Morila the Gorilla’.

Notably, the mine’s current global resource is 2.43 million ounces, however, its geological limits have never been tested.

Therefore, exploration is a major focus on the existing deposits and multiple targets on the 685 square kilometres of surrounding tenure.

– Ephrems Joseph