A PROLONGED period of incessant rainfall has been a major factor in hampering the plans of Metals Exploration to get its Runruno Gold Project in Nueva Viscaya province up to full speed. The project is currently in the ‘test running and debugging’ phase.

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Mine workings at the Runruno Gold Project of Metals Exploration.

The UK-based company says that despite gold doré being produced during the testing, the progress in ramping up has been slower than expected owing to the persistent heavy rain and other factors that have restricted the effective mining of waste materials. This, in turn, has adversely impacted the grade and sulphur content of ore available for processing.

Metals Ex says that mechanically both the mining fleet and the processing plant have operated soundly.

During these tricky circumstances at Runruno, which is about 340km north of Manila, the company continues to closely manage its working capital requirements.

Metals Ex first became involved with the Runruno deposit in 2005 and has undertaken extensive scientific and geological surveys since, with extremely encouraging results. The Nueva Viscaya area has been known to be abundant in gold and other precious metals since the early 2960s and has enjoyed a varied exploration history.

In May 2010 the company announced the results of the Runruno feasibility study which confirmed the viability of the project, projecting average annual production of 96,700 ounces of gold over a mine life of 10.4 years, at an average forecast operating cost $477 per ounce before any molybdenum credits.

Runruno is a surface mine operation and uses the proven BIOX and carbon-in-leach processes to recover gold and molybdenum.

Work has defined a resource of 1.42 million ounces of gold and 25.6 million pounds of molybdenum with 900,000 ounces of gold reporting to the measured and indicated categories and 780,000 ounces within the mining proven & probable reserve category.

The deposit is within a large alkaline volcanic complex, approximately 3.5km in diameter, of which less than 15% has been effectively explored presenting substantial exploration upside.

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