AIM-listed Goldplat (GDP) is ramping up production to 1000-1500t a month or 4000 ounces of gold annually at its joint venture Kilimapesa project in Kenya, while the company is actively looking for gold acquisitions on the African continent despite troubled times for many miners.
Chief executive officer Demetri Manolis said production from the underground mine and artisanal tailings was ongoing while the company was developing the gold resource that initially consisted of a surface south vein that had been partially mined by artisanal miners.
The project that is 50:50 owned by Goldplat and International Gold Exploration AB is expected to generate an operational profit from the second quarter of 2009.
Manolis said the company was aware of the presence of two additional veins that run parallel to the existing vein from the surface downwards. Goldplat was in the process of exposing these two veins and expected to intersect them shortly.
Goldplat has accumulated artisanal tailings stocks with high grades ranging between 6g-15g/t that will last the company for the next few years, said Manolis. The company is recovering gold at its processing plant on site and exporting gold loaded carbon to Rand Refinery in South Africa.
Its underground development work at Kilimapesa involved the south vein strike extension, while diamond drilling has indicated that the vein continued at depth.
To date, sampling indicates an average value of 6.33 g/t gold ('Au') over a strike of 129m with a stope width of 123cm, including a stretch of 69m grading at 8.08 g/t Au over a mineable width of 135cm, the company said.
Manolis said the company could increase the plant's capacity once it started mining the reserve Golplat was planning to publish a JORC compliant resource later this year.
In terms of acquisitions Goldplat was interested in small to medium size mines of up to 1m ounces in African countries. Manolis confirmed the company was actively looking for other mines as the company had good cashflow to exploit the opportunities brought by the credit crisis.
He added that the company had a couple of million pounds on its books.
According to Manolis the Kenyan government was extremely helpful and the company was able to co-exist harmoniously with artisanal miners in the country.
Goldplat says it is focused on building a mid-tier gold mining and production vehicle in Africa, partially financed by an established gold and platinum group metals recovery business with blue-chip clients and strong revenues.