Shanta Gold has announced that the Ilunga Underground Mine at the New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM) in South Western Tanzania has achieved commercial production on schedule and on budget.

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$7.9 million (US$5.0 million after netting off pre-production revenue) and less than 12 months after the underground portal blast at Ilunga was carried out in August 2018. Ilunga is now the third source of high grade underground feed from NLGM alongside Bauhinia Creek and Luika mines.

Ilunga underground has a probable ore reserve of 660,500 tonnes at 5.56 g/t for 118,000 oz contained as well as Inferred Resources of 636,647 tonnes at 3.57 g/t for 73,067 oz.

Underground drilling targeting the conversion of the Inferred ounces into the Mine Plan and extending the mine life at Ilunga is expected to take place in H1 2020.

Eric Zurrin, Chief Executive of Shanta Gold, commented: “Bringing these high grade ounces online within budget and on time is yet another example of our model at work, namely: adding low cost ounces to resources at our well established operations, thereby increasing the mine life and the free cash flow generation potential at NLGM.  “Now that we have reached commercial production, we hope to delineate further mineable ounces by upgrading our inferred resources via cost efficient underground drilling.”

Source: Company Press Release