Firefinch frontloads Morila for immediate improvement in gold production
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Firefinch has made sweeping changes to the mine plan at its Morila gold project in Mali to quickly boost production and accelerate cash flow.
The company will cease mining at the N’Tiola satellite pit once available ore is extracted from the pit floor and is relocating the mine fleet from that pit to the Viper pit while mining equipment from Viper has been relocated to the Morila Super Pit.
Firefinch (ASX:FFX) expects the use of a single mining contractor and larger fleet at each site to support a new mine plan that seeks to produce between 8,000oz and 9,000oz of gold per month in the short term and deliver positive cashflow.
As part of this move, it has put capital projects – tailings repatriation, exploration drilling – on hold while implementing a comprehensive plan for immediate cost saving at Morila.
The company has also instigated a new regime of financial and operational controls to ensure strict cost and commitment control.
Executive chairman Dr Alistair Cowden noted that the changes were made to address underperformance at Morila.
“The Board has acted decisively to address this with management changes, cost cutting, a pivot in the mining strategy and the acceleration of a new mine plan to inform the way ahead,” he added.
“I also want to make it clear that the orebody has not underperformed, rather production has not ramped up as fast and as cost effectively as planned.
“Morila is a world-class gold deposit with extensive operational infrastructure – and which has produced over 7.5 million ounces of gold and has a current resource of 2.5 million ounces.”
A review of operations, mine plan and schedule and capital and operational expenditures is well underway, which will lead to an updated production guidance.
New mining equipment is arriving on site with more now enroute.
This is expected to deliver a material improvement in mining productivity, adding to the improvements noted since the mining fleet of the Morila Super Pit was expanded.
Other updates expected in the current quarter are recent drill results, a likely material upgrade to Morila resources including almost 40,000m of drilling over the last nine months with an accompanying Ore Reserve update, new life of mine plan – including bringing forward underground mining, and capital investment profile required to expand production to a long-term sustainable and profitable operation.
This article was developed in collaboration with Firefinch, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.