FREE STATE, South Africa Since purchasing the President Steyn gold mine in February 2002, THISTLE MINING of Toronto and Edinburgh, Scotland, reports that output continues to go up. The fourth ball mill is fully operational and upgrades to the ore pass system are boosting the production rate.
The ore pass system upgrades in the Golden Triangle (shafts No.3, 7 and 9) have been completed and a rate of 135,000 t/month achieved. Similar ore pass upgrades at shafts No. 1 & 2 will be completed next month. The mine has a total hoisting capacity of 400,000 t/month. The existing mill could be expanded to treat 250,000 tonnes monthly.
At the same time that mining rates were increasing, head grades took a rise as well. They are now 4.72 g/t Au, up from 4.67 g/t. When all of the mine improvements are complete in September this year, grades are expected to be 5.0 g/t Au.
The Thistle board has also approved a feasibility study for the Northern Section, 35 km from the President Steyn mill. Construction of a new US$15-million, 150,000 t/month plant would result in considerable transportation savings. Up to 4,000 long-term jobs could be created.
More information about the company, including its financial reports, is available at www.thistlemining.com.