Shanta Gold Ltd (AIM: SHG) has achieved commercial production at the Ilunga underground mine, part of its well-established New Luika gold project in south western Tanzania.
The primary ventilation fan and underground infrastructure are installed and operational. The first ore stope is now in production at a depth of 98 metres below the portal and 130 metres below surface.
Commercial production comes following gross pre-production capital investment of only US$7.9mln, or US$5mln after netting off pre-production revenue, and less than 12 months after the underground portal blast at Ilunga was carried out in August 2018.
The project came in on time and on budget.
Ilunga is now the third source of high-grade underground feed from New Luikia, alongside Bauhinia Creek and Luika mines.
Ilunga underground has a probable ore reserve of 660,500 tonnes at 5.56 grams per tonne for 118,000 ounces contained, as well as inferred resources of 636,647 tonnes at 3.57 grams for 73,067 ounces.