GHANA, WEST AFRICA Vancouver-based RED BACK MINING INC. has announced that the primary crusher at its Chirano started operations on Sept. 6. This was to be immediately followed by the commissioning of the SAG and ball mills. Commercial gold production is anticipated in early October 2005.
To the end of August, the plant design and engineering were complete, and commissioning had begun. Concrete work, plant offices and leach tanks were complete. The primary crusher was complete, and the ball mill and SAG mill and motors were in place. The overland power line was connected. The water storage facility was complete and ready for plant start-up. The site earthworks were complete, as were the tailings storage facility and the main embankment. Tailings and water overland piping were 70% complete.
Mining operations at the Obra, Obra South and Tano pits at Chirano were ahead of schedule, with 297,996 tonnes of mined ore containing 16,765 ounces of gold. A reconciliation of reserves will be completed and restated by year-end against revised gold pricing.
The capital cost of Chirano has remained at US$73.4 million. A private placement of Cdn$11.9 million in July completed the necessary funding for commencement of production.
The Chirano gold project has proven and probable reserves of 17.8 million tonnes grading 1.9 g/t Au for approximately 1.09 million ounces of contained gold. It lies in the Bibiani gold belt, 25 km along strike from ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI's Bibiani gold mine (+5 million ounces gold). For more information visit www.redbackmining.com.