Vast ramps up production at Pickstone

HARARE - Aim-listed miner, Vast Resources Plc (Vast) says it has ramped production at its Pickstone Peerless Mine to around 40 kilogrammes (kg) a month, a move anticipated to see the group pocketing about $170 000 additional monthly income from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Export Incentive Scheme, it has emerged.

Vast Resources chief executive Andrew Prelea recently told a London-based online television channel that the group was also looking at possible expansion opportunities in Zimbabwe.

“We are working with 40kg a month now, peak production, so this we see ourselves benefiting from the export incentive.

“This is a great incentive and way to attract more money to the country, the tax rebate on revenues, cash rebate at the end of each delivery will definitely help the country attract more money in,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vast said it had recorded impressive improvement in its operations in the third quarter to September 30, 2017.

In an update for the period, the firm — which has operations in Romania and Zimbabwe — said the last three months yielded positive results compared to prior periods.

“Q3 2017 was a record quarter for Vast, which saw operations at the Manaila Polymetallic Mine in Romania (“Manaila”) and the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine in Zimbabwe (“Pickstone-Peerless”) outperform the previous quarter in terms of tonnes mined, tonnes milled, copper concentrate produced and gold produced,” it said.

“Ore mined and milled at Pickstone-Peerless rose in the quarter to their highest levels since the June 2016 quarter. Operations are being managed at maximum milling capacity ahead of commissioning of the new sulphide plant.”

At Pickstone-Peerless gold mine, the firm said it recorded a four percent increase in tonnes of ore mined to 71 553 tonnes compared to 68 659 tonnes in the second quarter.

During the period, the firm had a 16 percent increase in tonnes of ore milled from to 68 431 tonnes compared to second quarter’s 58 923 tonnes.

Gold production grew 17 percent to 4 738 ounces from 4 037 ounces in the previous quarter with a three percent increase in milled gold grade to 2,41g/t from 2,35g/t.

The firm said it was further pursuing development initiatives to increase and optimise production, lowering production costs and building a portfolio of long-term sustainable mining operations.

To that end, at Pickstone-Peerless and Giant Gold Project Zimbabwe, Vast Resources is working on construction of sulphide plant.

This is expected to yield significant increase in installed primary milling capacity anticipated once sulphide plant is commissioned to 35 000 tonnes per month from 22 800 tonnes per month while mill grade is expected to also increase.

— The Financial Gazette


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