The lower gold grade in February reflected a temporary slowdown of mining activities in that month as a result of a fire at Asacha.
Trans-Siberian Gold says mine development activities at Asacha in the first quarter comprised approximately 1,115 metres, while ore extraction (including ore from stoping and mine development) amounted to 44,067 metric tonnes. Plant throughput averaged 13,433 mt per month (7.5% above planned 12,500 mt).
The previously reported changes in mining methods, including shallow hole blasting, have contributed to a reduction in ore dilution to 36.6% in the first quarter of 2016, compared to 40.4% in 2015. Ore delivered to the plant in the first quarter included 17,398 mt of new stoping ore with average grade of 10.3 g/t, however delays in mine development, including construction of the transportation ramp to the 150m and 100m levels, as a result of the previously reported flooding in 2015, have restricted the mine’s ability to access new stoping ore. In order to maintain monthly plant throughput of at least 12,500 mt it has been necessary also to process earlier mined tonnage with lower grades.
The company is cautiously optimistic that the proportion of new, richer grade, stoping ore in ore processed by the plant will increase during 2016. The lower gold grade in February reflected a temporary slowdown of mining activities in that month as a result of a fire at Asacha. This caused minimal damage (estimated at US$25,000) and normal production soon resumed.