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Aim-listed Shanta Gold says a successful ramp-up of its Singida gold mine, in Tanzania, has enabled the company to allocate capital to high-impact exploration programmes across its asset portfolio.

Although only eight weeks in, the Singida mine is performing ahead of expectations and gold production looks “promising”, the company states.

Shanta advises that it has completed two gold shipments from Singida and the mine is free cash flow positive.

Meanwhile, the company is in the process of drilling 8 000 m across 51 holes at the New Luika gold mine, in Tanzania, as part of Phase 1. The programme will span four months, with potential for Phase 2.

The drilling, at an expected cost of $1-million, targets the replacement of mined ore reserves.

At the West Kenya project, in Kenya, Shanta aims to expand the current 1.7-million-ounce resource by about three-million ounces over time.

At the moment, 26 000 m of drilling is being conducted across 80 holes, targeting resource extensions, as well as resource conversion to indicated status.

Shanta is also using third-party consultants to accelerate technical studies at West Kenya.

The company is working towards a mining licence application and permitting, with a budget of $10-million earmarked for the year.

About $500 000 worth of exploration drilling is planned around the Singida mine, targeting reserve additions and resource conversion.

Over the last four years, Shanta has added 473 000 oz of new reserves at the New Luika mine, while West Kenya continues to show increasing potential.

The company expects to provide reserve and resource estimate updates throughout the rest of the year.