MDN Inc. reported the Tulawaka gold mine in Tanzania produced 94,180 oz of gold in 2009. Since the beginning of operations in March 2005, the Tulawaka mine has produced 748,549 oz of gold.
The Tulawaka project is a joint-venture between MDN (30% participating interest) and Pangea Goldfields Inc. (70% participating interest), a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corp. and project operator and owner through its Tanzanian subsidiary Pangea Minerals Ltd. (See related story on p. 4.)
During 2009, the plant processed a total of 445,398 mt at an average grade of 7 g/t gold at a gold recovery rate of 93.9%. The ore processed comes from the underground mine and from accumulated stockpile of low-grade ore at surface. The underground mine operations provided 27.2% of the ore processed or 121,114 mt at an average grade of 16.1 g/t gold, for a total production of 58,874 ounces, or 62.5% of the 2009 annual production. The balance in tonnage of annual production comes from 324,284 mt of stockpiles at an average grade of 3.6 g/t gold, for a total production of 35,306 oz.
A total of 93,355 oz of gold was sold on the spot market in 2009 at an average price of $966 for total sales of $90.2 million. Total cash costs averaged $407/oz of gold. A total of 739,433 oz of gold has been sold since the beginning of operations in March 2005.
The mine operator predicts production of 76,736 oz of gold in 2010 after 93% recovery (419,078 mt at 6.12 g/t Au) at a total cash cost of $549/oz. Higher total cash cost is mainly due to an increase in production coming from the underground mine. The underground operations should yield 210,066 mt at an average grade of 8.93 g/t Au, or 45.5% of treated ore (27.2% in 2009). This will provide 56,090 oz of gold or 73.1% of total forecasted production. The balance of treated ore and annual production will come from the accumulated stockpiles on surface.
Extensive exploration and underground development work will be carried out in 2010 and 2011 to define more reserves and to extend the mine life of Tulawaka.