Firefinch Limited (ASX: FFX) has announced the commencement of open pit mining operations at the company’s 80%-owned Morila Gold Mine in Mali.
The company reported that mining is underway at Morila Pit 5, a satellite deposit located on the western margin of the Morila Super Pit.
Firefinch has an 80% interest in the Morila Gold Mine. The recently updated MRE of satellite deposits had resulted in an increase in Morila’s Global Mineral Resource to 50.5 million tonnes at 1.50g/t gold for 2.43 million ounces of contained gold. This included Measured: 1.73Mt at 0.5g/t for 0.03Moz, Indicated: 26.7Mt at 1.49g/t for 1.28Moz, and Inferred: 22.1Mt at 1.58g/t for 1.12Moz.
Commencement of open pit mining operations
The company announced that open pit mining operations have commenced at the Morila Gold Mine.
FFX said that mining is underway at Morila Pit 5, a mining area located on the western margin of the Morila Super Pit.
Firefinch said that Malian owned and operated contractor EGTF have mobilised a new 100 tonne class fleet, completed all mining preparatory works including re-establishment of the haul road to the crushers, and commenced mining and haulage to the crusher run of mine (RoM) stockpiles.
Better than estimated production output
The company noted that for the work completed to date, production levels have exceeded the plan. FFX said that approximately 100,000 tonnes of Morila Pit 5 ore have already been hauled to RoM stockpiles.
The company noted that this complements approximately 530,000 tonnes of ore mechanically mined from the Tailings Facility already stockpiled.
Feed for commissioning comminution circuit
FFX said that the stockpiled ore will be the feed used to commission the recently refurbished plant comminution circuit. The company said that the commissioning of the comminution circuit will commence later this month.
Updated Ore Reserve estimate soon
The company reported that Morila Pit 5 has an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 840,000 tonnes at 1.1g/t and Ore Reserves have not been declared. FFX said that an Ore Reserve estimate will be disclosed once current drilling has been incorporated into an upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate.
“The location of Pit 5 right next to our operating processing plant…made it a compelling opportunity to fast-track first production before we commence mining at our other satellite deposits”
Firefinch’s Managing Director, Michael Anderson, said: “It is very exciting to be off and running with our first open pit mining operation at Morila. The location of Pit 5 right next to our operating processing plant, combined with recent drilling results that enhanced economics, made it a compelling opportunity to fast-track first production before we commence mining at our other satellite deposits.
Importantly all the work has been undertaken safely, and it is very pleasing to have engaged the Malian owned and operated contractor EGTF, to resume mining at Morila Pit 5. Having taken these first steps, we of course remain very focussed on the main prize – bringing the Morila Super Pit back into operation.”
Image Source: Firefinch Limited (ASX: FFX)