Allied eyes 60% lift in gold output
A 60 percent increase in throughput is already being considered by ASX-AIM listed Allied Gold Limited, as the Perth-based miner readies for first production next month from its flagship A$87m gold mine in Papua New Guinea.Maiden production at a rate of 84,000 ounces per annum is due to commence late in December from the Simberi Oxide Gold Project in the Tabar Islands. Mine plant commissioning commences within the next few days.However, Allied Gold Non-Executive Director, Greg Steemson said the company already expects to ramp up annual gold production at Simberi to approximately 135,000 ounces. This represents a 60 percent lift against initial planned production rates.Mr Steemson said the production gains would come from new plans to boost Simberi’s current 2.2 million tonnes per annum carbon-in-leach (CIL) processing plant, to at least 3.2 million tpa. Engineering studies for this upgrade have been completed, he said.Most of calendar 2008 would be spent bedding down current production expectations and expanding the oxide reserve base to underpin the planned production increase. The CIL expansion is scheduled to come on line in the second half of 2009.Mr Steemson said Allied Gold is matching its maiden production with a parallel enhanced exploration program on Simberi and neighbouring Tatau and Tabar Islands.“The exploration lift will focus on increasing our ore reserves around known deposits, particularly the Sorowar deposit and in defining new deposits on the neighbouring islands,” Mr Steemson said.