Gold mining company Acacia Mining (LON:ACA, DSE:ACA) announced that gold production from its operating mines in northwestern Tanzania rose by 13%, from 731,912 ounces (oz) in 2015 to 829,705oz in 2016.
This was indicated in Acacia’s recently published production results for Q4 2016; the results also show that gold production in 2016 is 5% above the original guidance of 750,000-780,000oz for that year.
Acacia notes that the increase in production was mainly driven by a record production year at the North Mara gold mine and the highest production year at the Bulyanhulu mine since 2006.
Gold production at North Mara rose by 32%, from 287,188oz in 2015 to 378,443oz in 2016.
“This was as a result of 25% higher head grade driven by the higher contribution from the Gokona underground mine and a 4% improvement in recoveries,” Acacia explains.
Gold production at Bulyanhulu rose by 6%, from 273,552oz in 2015 to 289,432oz in 2016. Acacia notes that this was mainly driven by an 8% increase in run-of-mine head grade as underground mining grades improved, and a 3% increase in recovery.
Gold production at Buzwagi, Acacia’s third mine in Tanzania, decreased by 5% to 161,830oz in 2016 from 171,172oz in 2015.
The decrease was due to a 14% decrease in grade as a result of mining the cut back with ore primarily sourced from lower grade splay material.
Despite that, Acacia notes that it will extend mining at Buzwagi until the end of 2017, which will lead to an increase in production compared to 2016.
Gold production in Tanzania stands at around 1.8m oz per year which makes it the 4th largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa, Ghana, and Mali.
Acacia Mining operates three mines in Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara.
Bulyanhulu is an underground gold mine in the Shinyanga region of Northwestern Tanzania, located 55km south of Lake Victoria.
Bulyanhulu commenced commercial production in 2001 and has produced over 3m oz of gold to date. Total reserves and resources at the Bulyanhulu gold mine are estimated to be 17.1m oz.
Buzwagi is an open pit gold mine in the Shinyanga region of Northwestern Tanzania, located 6km southeast from the town of Kahama in Tanzania.
Buzwagi commenced commercial production in 2009 and has produced over 1m oz of gold to date. Total gold reserves and resources at the Buzwagi mine are estimated to be 2.7m oz.
North Mara is a combined open pit and underground gold mine in the Mara Region of Tanzania.
North Mara commenced commercial production in 2002 and has produced over 2m oz of gold to date. At the North Mara mine, total reserves and resources are estimated to be 3.8m oz.