Firefinch marks another milestone in Morila ramp-up with Pit 5 ore hitting gold comminution circuit

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Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) (FRA:N9F) has achieved another milestone in the second stage of its ramp-up strategy with commissioning of the Morila Gold Mine comminution circuit in Mali, West Africa, using stockpiles as well as feed from Morila Pit 5.

The company’s open pit mining of Morila’s satellite pits is forecast to increase production from around 50,000 ounces of gold in 2021 to about 120,000 ounces in 2022.

“Tremendous momentum”

Managing director Dr Mike Anderson said: “It was only last week that I expressed our excitement about commencing mining operations at Morila Pit 5.

“Now the team are commissioning the comminution circuit, and Morila Pit 5 ore will be fed today.

“What an outcome and what tremendous momentum we have.

“Pleasingly the work has again been undertaken safely by Malian contractors with local workforces, on time and on budget.”

Shares have been as much as 11.5% higher in early trading to A$0.49, a new high of almost three years while Firefinch’s market cap is approximately A$345 million.

Refurbishment work

Since acquiring the Morila Gold Mine in November 2020, Firefinch has rapidly advanced a program of work to refurbish key steel structures in the comminution circuit, prepare the crushers, screens and all components of the plant for operation.

Mill structure refurbishment and the processing commission feed.

Preparatory work also included an upgrade of the dump pocket structures, embankment stabilisation and drainage upgrades.

Around US$2.5 million has been spent on the refurbishments, with all work having been undertaken by Malian owned and operated contractors, and their local workforces.

Importantly, the original equipment manufacturers have undertaken positive technical assessments utilising their African based presence.

Oxide circuit ramp-up

Commissioning of the oxide circuit started on May 15, predominantly using feed from run of mine stockpiles and the plant has ramped up well with 20 hours of overall circuit run time by day three.

The ball mill run time was 21.2 hours and processing was at an annualised rate of 2.4 million tonnes per annum for the 24-hour period.

Direct tipping of Morila Pit 5 feed commenced on May 19.

The oxide circuit will be ramped up to around 3 million tonnes per annum in the coming days.

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