In an announcement dated 16 September 2016, LSE-listed Acacia Mining, Tanzania’s biggest gold producer, says that it undertook a planned two-week shutdown of the vertical shaft at its Bulyanhulu mine to refurbish and modernise the production and service winders. In parallel with this, the company undertook a programme of works on the process plant over a similar time frame.
The Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania (photo: Acacia).
“The planned maintenance was concluded successfully and we recommenced full scale hoisting in early September; however we have not been able to run the plant consistently since the shutdown due to repeated overheating of the ball mill trunnion bearing,” says the company. “A team of specialists is working with personnel on site in order to establish the root cause of the problem and a timeline for resuming normal operations.
“Whilst the plant has been down, we have built a surface stockpile of 11 300 ounces, with a further 7 400 ounces in stockpiles underground. We have put stoping operations on hold until the plant is running and providing consistent paste fill. The treatment of reclaimed tailings will continue, as will underground development and drilling activities.”
Acacia says that due to strong performance quarter to date at its North Mara mine, it continues to expect Q3 production to be broadly in line with Q1 2016, as guided at the interim results. It adds that, at this stage, full year guidance for both Bulyanhulu and Acacia remain unchanged.