VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 1, 2017) -
- ore tonnes mined in January 50% above budget, with contained Au ozs 20% above budget
- As at February 24th, 2017, almost 8,000 tonnes of ore mined for the month, and on target to achieve over 10,000 tonnes for the month, against a budget of 6,700 tonnes
- As at 24th February, 2017, almost 5,000 tonnes processed and on target to achieve 7,000 tonnes for the month, against a budget for the month of 6,700 tonnes
- Over 200 tonnes of concentrate produced to date, with the first containers currently being filled for shipment to the port of Lae. First shipment of concentrates from the port of Lae to smelter scheduled for early to mid-March
K92 Mining Inc. ("K92" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:KNT)(OTCQB:KNTNF) is pleased to report mining production has shown a steady ramp up over the last 3 months with ore tonnes mined being over 50% above budget in January, 2017, while contained gold ounces were almost 20% above budget. The Company mined over 8,000 ore tonnes by February 24th, 2017, and the Company is on target to achieve 10,000 tonnes by month end, which is 40% above February budget. The increased ore production is in part due to significant lower grade ore being identified outside of the planned ore envelope, which was identified by our ongoing grade control program, highlighting the importance and success of this program. All current February production has come from ore development headings and the Company currently anticipates the first stope mining to commence on schedule by the end of March.
The commissioning of the drum scrubber at the process plant has now been completed and production is ramping up to meet the mine production, with tonnes processed in February 2017, projected to be 5% above the February 2017 budget of mined 6,700 ore tonnes. The product from the drum scrubber has met the required specifications and has allowed the crushing plant to operate satisfactorily, with all of the fines portion, accounting for approximately 30% of the feed, bypassing the crusher and reporting directly to the milling classification circuit.
The process plant has produced in excess of 200 tonnes of concentrate, with current grades averaging approximately 150 g/t Au. This material is currently being loaded into containers for transport to the port of Lae, with the first shipment scheduled to depart the port of Lae early to mid-March, 2017.
As at February 24, 2017, there were approximately 12,000 tonnes of ore stockpiled on surface at an average grade of just over 5 g/t, which included some lower grade development ore mined from outside the budgeted ore envelope. The Company anticipates that this stockpile will allow the plant to achieve over 80% of the design throughput in March, 2017. Based on performance to date, the Company anticipates that both mine production and process plant throughput will exceed budget in the March quarter.
The above production has been achieved despite unusually high rainfall during January and early February, with January recording 700 mm of rain on site against a long-term average of 240 mm. This rainfall has also caused some disruption to the power supply from PNG Power which has had some adverse effect on operations, primarily the process plant.
The Company does have standby power installed for the mine, camp and offices and is in the process of upgrading the installed standby power to also provide sufficient power to run the entire processing plant. The diesel generators for this upgrade are currently on site and their installation is due to be completed shortly.
Ian Stalker, K92 Chief Executive Officer and Director, states, "It is encouraging to report to all stake-holders the current operational status of the Kainantu Mine. Progress has been made in all aspects of our business, in excess of our own internal budget numbers. Our first concentrate is being loaded into containers ready for onward shipping to the Smelter facility, and the grade being recorded at +150 gpt Au., is coming from treatment of our lower grade development ore This is hugely encouraging for the operation forecast when we start processing our mined stope ore later in March.
The performance of the underground mine has been excellent, with ore production being ahead of schedule. This is all the more remarkable against the background of re-starting an old mine in weather conditions that are the wettest recorded for many years. I think this is testament to the skills and dedication of the entire team that is K92, and I wish to record my thanks to them."
On behalf of the company,
Ian Stalker, Chief Executive Officer and Director
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All statements that address future plans, activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur are forward-looking information, including statements regarding potential ongoing production which may or may not occur and the generation of further production assessment work at deposits, which may or may not occur. The Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") issued by K92 is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Forward-looking statements and information contained herein are based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the market price of the Company's securities, metal prices, taxation, the estimation, timing and amount of future exploration and development, capital and operating costs, the availability of financing, the receipt of regulatory approvals, environmental risks, title disputes, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry, changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations, and regulations and other matters. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.