THE processing plant at Sumatra Copper & Gold’s Tembang Gold-Silver Project in southern Sumatra operated an annual rate of 460,000 tonnes during January, which was 15% above nameplate capacity. As a result the company processed 39,065 tonnes of ore for 2025 ounces of gold and 54,374 ounces of silver during the month.

First gold was poured at Tembang on September 27, 2015 and the company has been progressively ramping up operations. It expects further metal production increases in coming months as ramp-up progresses and mine grade increases with depth.

Sumatra map
Sumatra Copper & Gold’s Tembang Gold-Silver Project is in southern Sumatra.

In January 2016 a milestone was achieved with the successful completion of the first stope on Level 1 at Belinau. Ore development is continuing on Level 2 with benching in progress. Upon completion of benching, ore exposed in the ore drive floor will be trenched to a width of 1.2 metres, which is expected to produce high grade ore with minimal dilution.

Following this the narrow excavation will be filled with cemented rock fill to allow waste to be backfilled. This will facilitate the commencement of drilling and stoping of the high grade stope block between Level 1 and Level 2. This development strategy has been successful in achieving 100% ore recovery without any requirement for residual ore pillars for geotechnical support.

A further milestone has been achieved with the main decline becoming fully operational. The decline had encountered difficult ground conditions which resulted in a decision to incline towards the main decline from Level 2. Ventilation will be greatly improved along with the ability for underground mine trucks to enter the mine and significantly improve haulage productivity.

Ground conditions have improved markedly and the main decline was on track to access Level 3 y the end of March. Level 3 will be the first level to access the full strike length of the Belinau main vein, providing development ore with drives of up to 250 metres in length. Level 3 will also provide access to the Bitu north vein and potentially the Bitu south vein.

During mining of the Belinau east cutback in January 2016 a new vein was discovered in the south wall of the Belinau pit. This is believed to be the southern extension of the Bitu vein that has previously been drilled on the northern side of the pit. Surface sampling of the exposed vein returned grades of up to 8.87 grams/tonne gold.

To follow-up this intersection resource drilling was planned to commence in March.

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