Asanko mine’s full-year output below expectations

Precious metal producer Galiano Gold, which operates the Ghana-based Asanko gold mine under a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Gold Fields, generated $381.7-million in revenue from the sale of 216 076 oz of gold in 2021.

This was as a result of a yearly average realised gold price of $1 767/oz.

Gold sold in the fourth quarter of the year was 51 368 oz at an average realised price of $1 771/oz, generating $91-million in revenue.

Galiano produced 210 241 oz of gold in 2021 – below its revised production guidance for the year of between 215 000 oz and 220 000 oz.

For the fourth quarter, the miner produced 50 278 oz.

“Production for [the fourth quarter] remained consistent with [the second and third quarters],” says Galiano CEO and president Matt Badylak.

He notes, however, that ore delivery continues to be slower than expected from Akwasiso, and grades at both the Esaase and Akwasiso deposits remained below expectations.

In the fourth quarter, the Asanko mine sourced ore from the Esaase Main pit in addition to incremental ore production from Cut 3 at Akwasiso.

During the quarter, 1.5-million tonnes of ore, at an average gold grade of 1.3 g/t, and 6.4-million tonnes of waste, were mined from the Esaase Main pit, while 100 000 t of ore, at an average gold grade of 1.2 g/t, and 2.4-million tonnes of waste, were mined from the Akwasiso pit.

The processing plant milled 1.5-million tonnes at a feed grade of 1.2 g/t during the fourth quarter, with metallurgical recovery averaging 91%.

Galiano expects to release its full financial and operational results after the market closes on February 16.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the JV held about $49.2-million in unaudited cash, $13.6-million in gold sales receivables and $3.2-million in gold on hand.

The Asanko mine remains debt-free, with $30-million available on its revolving credit facility.

Meanwhile, exploration activities involved an extensive drill programme that was completed with positive results at Miradani, Kaniago, Midras South and Dynamite Hill.

“We remain on track to publish an updated mineral reserve and resource statement in the [first quarter], along with an updated life-of-mine plan.

“Building on our exploration success over the past two years, we will continue to invest in exploration activities at the Asanko mine. The focus in the first quarter will be deep drilling at Miradani and Nkran to explore the underground potential at both of those deposits,” says Badylak.

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