ASX-listed Gold One International said it expects to double production rates this year at its flagship Modder East gold mine in South Africa.
Gold One International President Neal Froneman said the Modder East underground mine was relatively “shallow” at about 300 m compared with more typical 2,000-m-deep South African gold mines, enhancing mine margins and productivity rates.
“We have commenced a scale-up in production and are currently running at around 60,000 ounces per year but will push this out by year’s end to between 100,000 and 120,000 ounces,” Froneman said. “Our focus is to make sure Modder East continues to deliver on this ramp up and achieve a steady rate of between 150,000 and 180,000 ounces from 2011.”
Gold One is finalizing a debt facility over the next two months to service end-of-year puts of convertible notes by bondholders. Froneman said negotiations are currently being advanced with four possible banks to secure a senior secured debt facility with final nonbinding proposals received from all four.
Gold One said Modder East has an initial mine life of eight years with potential for significant longer life. First gold was poured in July 2009 from an initial reserve of 7.65 million mt at 5.5 g/t for 1.36 million oz of contained gold. Initial production since late last year has been at a cost of around US$593 an ounce produced.