Oxide Production: Test Plant, Mine Development and Operations

The Company continues to operate the 5 tph oxide material test plant at the Buckreef Project. In doing so, valuable information and analysis of oxide material characteristics continue to gathered and resultant improvements to processes are implemented, especially with respect to gold recovery. Further, the 5 tph test-plant is also being used to provide data on: tailings characteristics, including dry stack tailings options, grade control, materials movement and reconciliation processes. Finally, TanGold along with Stamico are evaluating a potential expansion of the test plant to 15 tph prior to construction of the 40 tph oxide plant. The following work on mining, process test-plant operations and exploration at Buckreef was completed during this reporting period up to February 28, 2021:

  • The test-plant continues to operate seven days a week with two 12-hour shifts per day (Figure 3).
  • Buckreef continues to utilize contract mining for all mining operations.

  • Key performance metrics for the period were:
    • Oxide mineral reserves mined – 16,436 tonnes at 1.80 g/t containing 952 oz of gold;
    • Waste mined – 96,056 tonnes, including pre strip material;
    • Total oxide mineral reserves mined – 49,436 tonnes at 2.03 g/t containing 3,233 oz of gold (since start of test production);
    • Total waste mined to date – 425,295 tonnes, including pre strip material;
    • On ROMPAD (Main Zone) totals at end of period – 24,522 tonnes at 1.33 g/t containing 844 oz of gold;
    • Also on to ROMPAD (historical from South Zone) – 119,674 tonnes @ 1.19 g/t containing 4,579 oz of gold;
    • 8,350 tonnes @ 2.34 g/t was crushed and 8,490 tonnes (dry) was milled with an average grade of 2.21 g/t;
    • Six smelting batches delivered a total of 9,774.1 grams gold dore (91.0% purity) for pure gold production of 285.9 troy ounces (produced in the quarter); and
    • Starter pit mining operations progressed well, and intermittent storm water has been well handled. (Figure 2).

Operationally, the oxide test plant continues to be a substantial success on several levels. First, operation of the plant, to date, proves the viability of the Buckreef Project to produce gold, and therefore, provides a considerable de-risking of the mine building at Buckreef. A number of important tests have been conducted providing data for the operation and confirming the flowsheet for expansion of the oxide material processing plant to produce 15,000 oz - 20,000 oz of gold production per year. Additionally, the plant has been used to train and develop a crew that will be ready to operate the larger oxide plant when it comes online. Startup and operation of the test plant has provided months of experience in: (i) understanding the metallurgical behaviour of oxide deposit; (ii) areas of mining and earth moving; (iii) stockpile management; (iv) grade blending control; (v) equipment and materials procurement; (vi) local content regulations; and (vii) security.

The Company continues to work with SGS Lakefield, to examine recovery improvements and tailings characteristics.

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