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(Wallace Refiners) – Firefinch (ASX: FFX) announced Friday that open pit mining operations have commenced at its 80% owned Morila gold mine in Mali.
The company said that mining is underway at Morila Pit 5, a mining area located on the western margin of the Morila Super Pit. 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.
Firefinch added that approximately 100,000 tonnes of Morila Pit 5 ore have already been hauled to RoM stockpiles. This complements approximately 530,000 tonnes of ore mechanically mined from the Tailings Facility already stockpiled. The stockpiled ore will be the feed used to commission the recently refurbished plant comminution circuit. Commissioning of the comminution circuit will commence later this month.
Firefinch noted that the company acquired 80% interest in Morila from Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti “at a substantial discount” in November 2020 with the view to increase production at the 4.5mtpa mill from a current annual production profile of 40,000 ounces of gold to up to 200,000 ounces of gold per annum.
Morila has produced 7.5 million ounces of gold since 2000; it was one of the world’s highest grade open pits some 12 to 20 years ago. The company estimated that currently, there is 2.43 million ounces of gold in the global resource at Morila. Morila’s geological limits are not well understood, thus exploration is a major focus at Morila, its satellite resources and multiple targets on the 685km2 of surrounding tenure.
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