Gold production resumes at the Phu Kham
Pan Australian Resources has resumed gold production ahead of schedule at its Phu Kham heap leach operation (Phu Bia Gold Mine) in Laos, with the first gold pour this week.The company’s ramp up of heap leach irrigation commenced in mid-September and full scale leaching is expected by the end of the month. The ramp up of heap leach irrigation was previously scheduled to commence in October. Pan Australian Managing Director, Gary Stafford said that the strategy to cover the heap leach pads during the wet season had proved successful in protecting the agglomerates from rain damage. “There is a large area of gold ore now on the leach pads and available for leaching, which has allowed an accelerated re-start of leaching and gold production,” Mr Stafford said. “The operation, although relatively small-scale when compared with the copper-gold project under construction, is providing cash flow and funding the Group’s overheads. “The heap leach gold operation mines and processes the ‘gold-cap’ ore which lies within the pre-strip area of the Phu Kham Copper-Gold Mine. As such, we are able to make money out of that portion of the pre-strip,” he said. Gold production at Pan Australian’s heap leach operation is seasonal. During the wet season, irrigation is suspended and the leach pads covered with protective plastic sheeting. The company’s heap leach gold production during the dry season, from October to April inclusive, is anticipated to be around 3,000oz per month.