Tanzanian Gold (TSX: TNX; NYSE: TRX) has produced commercial-grade gold for the first time from the oxide processing plant
at its Buckreef gold project, south of Lake Victoria and 110 km southwest of the city of Mwanza in north-central Tanzania.
“The ore comes in two forms — the primary ore that is at depth and then becomes oxidized as you get close to the surface,” Ulrich Rath, the company’s director said in a telephone interview. “The oxidized ore has different characteristics to the underlying sulphides.”
Some companies, he added, elect to build plants that process both of them at the same time; however, they decided to treat the oxide ores first, as they are close to the surface and then to build a second plant to process the sulphide ores.
The company, he noted, now plans to expand the oxide plant in the fourth quarter of this year, with a further expansion slated for early next year.
“The money generated from production at the oxide plant will be used to complete a feasibility study for the development of a sulphide processing plant,” Rath said.
The combined plants, he added, should produce between 150,000 to 175,000 oz. gold per year at full production capacity.
Recent drilling has also identified ore below the bottom of the pit, Rath noted, which could lead to an underground mining operation once the open pit comes to the end of its life.
The company has also reassessed the mineral resources for the project, which now stand at 35.88 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 1.77 grams gold per tonne for 2.04 million contained oz. of gold. Inferred resources add 17.82 million tonnes grading 1.11 grams gold for 635,540 oz. of gold. The estimates used a cutoff grade of 0.4 gram gold.
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