High River Gold Achieves Commercial Production at the Berezitovy Gold Mine & Provides Taparko-Bouroum Gold Mine Updateadmin
High River Gold Mines Ltd. announce that it has achieved Commercial Production at its Berezitovy Gold Mine in Russia, effective October 1, 2008, and that a re-start of the mill at the Taparko-Bouroum Gold Mine is planned in approximately 4 weeks.
Berezitovy Gold Mine Achieves Commercial Production
On October 1, 2008, the Berezitovy Gold Mine achieved Commercial Production. Mill throughput during the month of September totaled 80,487 tonnes, representing an average capacity utilization of 65% which exceeded the criteria established for Commercial Production (i.e. mill throughput equal to or exceeding 60% of design capacity over a 30 day period).
Re-machined bearings, which were previously damaged (see press release dated July 14, 2008), have performed much better than expected. This, combined with numerous plant upgrades and repairs including major work on the cyclone pumping system and the installation of a wet tailings storage facility (see press release dated May 6, 2008), resulted in mill throughput rates of approximately 90% of design capacity being recently achieved. New replacement bearings were recently received on-site, and are available for installation should they be required.
Gold production for 2008 at the Berezitovy Gold Mine is expected to total approximately 45,000 attributable ounces. Prior to the declaration of Commercial Production on October 1, 2008, the Berezitovy Gold Mine produced approximately 28,000 attributable gold ounces in 2008, with associated revenues and operating costs capitalized for financial reporting purposes. After this date, revenues and operating costs will be reported on High River’s income statement.
Approximately 380,000 tonnes of mined ore (equivalent to 3 months of production) are stockpiled, ready for processing.
Taparko-Bouroum Gold Mine to re-start in approximately 4 weeks
The Taparko-Bouroum Gold Mine is expected to re-start in early November with the delivery and installation of a new custom-made gear-box. Detailed evaluation of the mill drive-train by independent consultants identified the gear-box as the likely source of the excessive vibration which has impeded mill operation. The new gear-box, costing approximately US $200,000, is expected to be delivered to the mine-site during October. The manufacturer, located in South Africa, has indicated that all sub-components have been received and the assembly of the gear-box is nearly complete.
During the first half of 2008, Taparko-Bouroum produced 21,000 attributable ounces of gold. The mill was shut-down during the entire third quarter. With the expected restart of the mill in early November, total gold production for 2008 at Taparko-Bouroum is expected to equal approximately 30,000 attributable ounces.
Approximately 210,000 tonnes of mined ore (equivalent to 2.5 months of production) has been stockpiled, ready for processing. As well, waste stripping in the 3/5 and GT pits has resulted in a substantial increase in developed ore available for immediate production blasting.