Construction at Medusa Mining’s new service shaft at the Co-O mine in northeast Mindanao is making good progress. Work on the new shaft, which will drop to 400 metres underground and provide access to the mine between levels 3 and 8, began in April.

It will increase hauling capacity from level 8 to around 1700 dry tonnes a day from 1400 and lift total mine capacity to around 2700 from all shafts.

Last week Medusa reported that the Alimak Raise (2 metres x 2 metres) had completed 250 metres of the 350 metres from Level 8 up to Level 3 and a new Alimak Nest was being excavated at Level 3. The second concrete pour out of seven for the collar of the service shaft had been completed and once the collar is fully formed, a blind sink of 33 metres to Level 1 with be undertaken using a crane and kibble.

The shaft headframe, main winder and sinking equipment are scheduled to arrive during the fourth quarter and once installed, a sinking stage will be used to widen the shaft to its final dimensions of 3.2 metres x 3.65 metres from Level 1 to Level 8. Installation of ground support to the walls and equipping the level accesses between Levels 3 to 8 will be done simultaneously.

The rope guided man-cage is on track to be installed in the second quarter next year and once that is done all men and material movement will be transferred to the new shaft from the L8 Shaft, which will then be used exclusively to hoist ore to attain the 1700 tonnes per day haulage target.

Medusa’s chief executive Geoff Davis said: “The construction of the service shaft has got off to a great start and should be completed within the estimated timelines with all long lead times items ordered and being manufactured.”

Medusa recently increased its Co-O production guidance for the fiscal year to the end of June 2016 and company now expects to produce 120,000 to 130,000 ounces, 20 to 30% increase on previous guidance. The company expects to see continued improvement in the following year with guidance set at 135,000 to 145,000 ounces.

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