Acacia Mining Plc has reported gold production of 130,581 ounces for the fourth quarter of last year, bringing its total production for the full year to 521,980 ounces.
‘’This is substantially ahead of our
‘’I am proud of the resilience, hard work and dedication shown by our people in realizing this achievement despite a challenging operating environment,’’ the group’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Peter Geleta, said, adding:
‘’Over the last 12 months, we have focused on successfully stabilizing the business, including a return to free cash flow generation in Q2, and I am pleased to report that we end the year with a net cash balance of US$88 million.”
Gold production for the quarter of 130,581 ounces was slightly ahead of expectations, although 12% lower than the prior year mainly due to the transitioning of Buzwagi to a stockpile processing operation, partly offset by higher gold production at North Mara and Bulyanhulu.
Gold ounces sold for the quarter of 133,460 ounces were slightly higher than production due to the favourable timing of shipments and draw down of finished gold on hand.
Full year production of 521,980 ounces was ahead of expectations for the year, although 32% lower than 2017 due to the transition to reduced operations at Bulyanhulu and to stockpile processing at Buzwagi.
Gold production in 2018 benefitted from the higher grade ore received from the Nyabirama open pit at North Mara, the extended mining of the final cut of the higher grade ore at the bottom of the pit and switchbacks at Buzwagi combined with the better than expected performance of the Buzwagi processing plant with improved throughput and recoveries, and the favourable performance from tailings processing at Bulyanhulu.
Full year gold sales of 520,380 ounces were broadly in line with production. At North Mara, gold production for the quarter of 84,079 ounces was 17% higher than the prior year of 72,018 ounces, mainly driven by 11% higher head grades due to the higher grade ore received from the eastern part of the Nyabirama open pit.
Buzwagi gold production of 35,880 ounces for Q4 2018 was 51% lower than the prior year of 73,604 ounces as a result of the mine transitioning to primarily a lower grade stockpile processing operation in 2018 in line with its remaining life of mine plan.
Mining of the final cut of higher grade ore remaining at the bottom of the pit and switchbacks was largely completed during the quarter, resulting in slightly higher than expected production.
Bulyanhulu produced 10,622 gold ounces for the quarter, above the prior year of 2,855 ounces which was negatively impacted by a drought in the Kahama District, resulting in a temporary halt in the retreatment of tailings in Q4 2017.
All production continued to be produced from the retreatment of tailings as a result of the underground mine being placed on reduced operations in late 2017.
The cash balance as at December 31, 2018, amounted to approximately US$130 million, representing an increase of approximately US$13 million during the quarter and US$50 million for the year, with net cash increasing to approximately US$88 million at period end.
Acacia will be releasing its 2018 preliminary results and 2019 guidance at 07:00 GMT on 11 February and a presentation and webcast will be held for analysts and investors at 12.00 GMT on the same day.
Acacia Mining Plc is the UK holding company of the Acacia Group, Tanzania’s largest gold miner and one of the largest producers of gold in Africa.
The Acacia Group has three mines, all located in north-west Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, which is owned and operated by Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, Buzwagi, which is owned and operated by Pangea Minerals Limited and North Mara, which is owned and operated by North Mara Gold Mine Limited.
The Acacia Group also has a portfolio of exploration projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Mali. Acacia is a UK public company headquartered in London.
We are listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Barrick Gold Corporation is the firm’s majority shareholder. Acacia reports in US dollars and in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European