Shares in Havilah Resources took a dip in trading on the Aussie bourse thanks to an almost 20 per cent fall in gold production from its Portia gold mine, South Australia.

The Adelaide-based gold miner (ASX:HAV) reported 1740 ounces of gold produced for the June quarter, down 18 per cent on the previous quarter’s 2130 ounces. In July alone gold production halved.

The fall was caused by lower total throughput because of downtime to complete plant upgrades as well as processing slightly lower grade ore.

Gold sold was down 28 per cent on the previous quarter to 1740 ounces in the July quarter, mainly thanks to a 46 per cent fall in July.

In some good news, July quarter output was 26 per cent higher than the previous quarter for a record of 106,000 tonnes processed, reflecting the earlier plant improvements.

“Production in July was lower in part due to the installation of the final phase of plant improvements that were initiated in May,” Havilah managing director Dr Chris Giles said.

“The fourth quarter of this year saw lower gold production, but record throughput for the quarter reflects our large effort with our partner (Consolidated Mining and Civil) on plant improvements and we should see further benefits of the plant upgrades in future quarters.”

Dr Giles said Havilah recently began targeting higher grade ore zones which should see improved grades delivered and processed.

Plant upgrades finished last month are expected to result in higher output and improved recoveries.

The Portia project lies in the Curnamona Craton in north-eastern South Australia, which is host to the largest lead and zinc deposit in the world at Broken Hill.

Gold mining began at Portia in March 2015 with first gold poured just over a year later.

Shares in Havilah ended yesterday’s session 6 per cent lighter at 30c, valuing the company at around $68 million.