During the March quarter Monument Mining’s operations at Selinsing generated a profit margin of $3.29 million, down from $11.91 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013, from revenue of $12.09 million, down from $20.33 million in the 2013 quarter.

The trend of positive results has continued despite a sharp decline in the gold price and a slowdown of production as a result of prioritizing the processing of low grade oxide materials while stockpiling refractory mineralization for future processing.

Cash costs per ounce sold for the quarter were US$654 per ounce compared to US$440 for the corresponding period last year, while cash costs for the nine month period ended March 31, 2014 were US$588 per ounce compared to US$401 in fiscal 2013. Mining costs per ounce for the 2014 quarter were $240 per ounce, up from $119 in the 2013 quarter.

The increase in mining costs per ounce is attributable to both an increase in costs on a per tonne basis and to lower head grades and lower recovery. On a per tonne basis mining costs were higher due to longer distances now required for hauling. In addition, drill and blast costs were also higher due to mining harder sulphide ore and deeper drilling at Selinsing.

Processing costs per ounce for the quarter were $358 per ounce, up from $215 in 2013. The increase is mainly a result of processing lower grade oxide and sulphide ore in the period. In the March quarter the average mill feed grade was 1.28 grams/tonne, compared to 1.72 grams/tonne in 2013, a 25.58% decrease quarter over quarter. Processing recovery rate in 2014 reduced to 75.76% from 87.0% in 2013, as a result of the lower grade and the higher sulphide content of the feed.

The company announced during the March quarter that R&D activities have demonstrated that flotation of sulphide materials at the Selinsing and Buffalo Reef gold mines has the potential to produce a gold concentrate which may be acceptable to buyers. The research conducted to date has been encouraging and a number of samples have been delivered to potential buyers in China and elsewhere for assessment. The company is now working on refining the costs of producing the concentrate, researching various packaging, handling and shipping alternatives and negotiating with a number of smelters.

Monument believes there is a potential to market magnetite and other iron extracted from top soils on the Mengapur project. During the March quarter, the company undertook R&D activities related to the development of a number of marketable commodity products. Operational priorities of research and development have been focused on the production of market grade magnetite with the goal of generating cash flow in the near-term and the R&D and market research of other potential downstream commodity products.

In addition, the company believes there is an opportunity to separate magnetite and other iron from the copper and other metals in the fresh rock at the Mengapur site. An on-site R&D laboratory has been built to develop and prove a viable flow sheet circuit for recovery of magnetite from fresh rock. If successful, the company plans to build a magnetite concentrate processing plant on the Mengapur project in order to produce marketable-grade magnetite from the sulphide mineralization.

Exploration at Selinsing, Buffalo Reef and FELDA lands during the quarter was focused on the collation and interpretation of data, mapping geological structures, updating the resource estimate and drilling additional oxide targets. The company continues to conduct infill and follow up drilling targeting highly prospective areas based on a previous successful drilling program which provided both higher grade drill intercepts and shallow oxide intercepts.

The total drill program at Selinsing, Buffalo Reef, and FELDA properties during the quarter consisted of 22 diamond drill holes totalling 2088 metres. During the quarter, 109 drill hole assays from Selinsing, Buffalo Reef and FELDA were finalized and received from the SGS Malaysia commercial lab.

Exploration activities at Mengapur have focused on the Oxide Magnetite Development Plan, with further exploration activities being conducted during the quarter in support of this plan. The program focused on identification of oxide magnetite material and included 800 metres of drilling in 12 drill holes. www.monumentmining.com

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