Firefinch’s 2021 gold output to support ramp up to +100,000oz
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Firefinch now mining gold from the Viper pit as well as Morila Pit 5, with the Morila Super Pit in its sights next year, targeting production of 100,000oz pa in 2022. Lithium demerger process in full swing.
Firefinch has recorded production of 12,149oz of gold during the September quarter and has forecast December quarter output at between 10,000 and 11,500oz.
This guidance is consistent with the previously released life of mine plan and accounts for pre-strip requirements at the satellite open pits through the current quarter before transitioning to a combination of satellite pit and Morila Super Pit ore in 2022.
Importantly for Firefinch (ASX:FFX), achieving even the lower end of its guidance will bring total 2021 production to over 45,000oz, a solid foundation for the planned ramp-up to +100,000oz production in 2022.
Recent work has provided support for this objective with detailed screen fire assays of core from its first diamond hole (MRD0001) the Morila Super Pit in Mali increasing the grade of the 10.5m intersection up from 30.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold to 34g/t gold.
Drilling has also returned wide intercepts from Morila North West, excellent grade control results from N’Tiola, and further high-grade results from Viper.
During the previous quarter, the company started mining operations at the Viper open pit following an expedited schedule of pre-mining activities including grade control drilling, site clearing and topsoil stockpiling, and the upgrade of access and haulage tracks.
It also mobilised two contractors for these works, which allowed for accelerated movement.
Mining at Morila Pit 5 has proceeded well over the quarter with solid grade and tonnage reconciliation, with Firefinch noting that de-watering of the Morila Super Pit will provide further opportunity to mine at Morila Pit 5.
Ore from Viper is currently being processed at the mill while drilling is ongoing with five rigs currently in operation to grow resources and reserves, optimise the initial stages of open cut mining, and testing the potential for underground operations.
Firefinch will continue to ramp-up open pit mining activities during the current quarter with material from the pits replacing tailings as the primary mill feed.
Pre-stripping at N’Tiola will commence in November, with ore mining forecast to commence in December.
The availability of Viper and N’Tiola oxide ore for blending with Morila Pit 5 fresh ore and mineralised tailings is expected to improve both head grade and recovery and provides optionality to adjust the material fed as needed.
At the Goulamina JV with Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, the company expects to deliver an updated definitive feasibility study and make a final investment decision before the end of this year.
Ganfeng and Firefinch have also agreed on a major, two-year drill program to boost reserves and resources at the lithium project.
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.