Shanta Gold Ltd (LON:SHG) is to expand processing capacity at the New Luika gold mine in Tanzania, with the integration of a new pilot plant started, and commissioning scheduled for January 2021.
The group said milled throughput nameplate capacity will increase by 14%. The cost has been pegged at US$1.2mln, and will easily be funded by existing cashflow from production, it added.
Following commissioning, the annual nameplate processing capacity at New Luika is expected to increase to a baseline of 708,000 tonnes per year, up from current nameplate capacity of 620,000 tonnes, with the projected annual processing rate increased to a baseline of 783,000 tonnes, up from 695,000 tonnes.
The New Luika plant upgrade will focus on increased ball mill power, with upgrades to other components including an increase to pumping capacity, a tailings discharge system, and additional leach capacity to support the higher throughput and increase operability.
Increased plant capacity will provide New Luika with the flexibility to reduce cut off grades, thus lowering the hurdle for resources to be converted to minable ounces.
"Shanta has consistently expanded plant throughput over the last three years. Throughput in 2021 is expected to be 24% higher than 2017," Shanta chief executive Eric Zurrin said in a statement.