Golden Star Begins Stoping at Prestea Underground

Successful blasting of initial ore from the first stope in the West Reef orebody took place on September 27.
Golden Star Resources began stoping at its high-grade Prestea Underground gold mine in southwest Ghana in late September. Successful blasting of initial ore from the first stope in the West Reef orebody took place on September 27. The first stope is being mined using mechanized shrinkage, utilizing Alimak raise climbers. The ore is hauled to surface via the mine’s Central shaft.

Golden Star has been processing development ore from Prestea Underground since mid-April, and the mine delivered its initial gold production of 325 ounces (oz) in the second quarter of 2017.

Prestea is located 16 kilometers (km) from Golden Star’s existing Bogoso processing plant. West Reef ore is hauled along a private haul road to a new plant at the Bogoso site built specifically to treat Prestea ore.

The plant has a standard comminution circuit followed by gravity and carbonin- leach sections. Gravity concentrate is treated in the Bogoso plant’s existing Acacia recovery circuit. Gold recovered from the carbon-in-leach circuit is further processed in the existing elution circuit, and doré is smelted in the existing gold room.

Prestea Underground has mineral reserves of 1.09 million metric tons (mt) at a grade of 13.93 grams/mt of gold. Current planning calls for the mine to produce 90,000 oz/y of gold at cash operating costs of $468/oz and all-in sustaining costs of $615/oz over an initial mine life of 5.5 years. Exploration drilling is under way at the mine with the objective of increasing the annual production rate and extending the mine life.

“I am delighted to announce that stoping has commenced at Prestea Underground,” said Golden Star President and CEO Sam Coetzer. “We believe that this is the first time that a production stope has been blasted at the mine since 2001, and it is a historical achievement for both Golden Star and the Prestea community in Ghana.

“I would like to thank the development team for all of their hard work and dedication in transforming a century old mine to a completely modern mine . . . The development of the next four stopes is progressing well, and we are on track to achieve commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2017.”

Golden Star acquired the Prestea property and placed it on care and maintenance in 2002. Extensive surface infrastructure and underground development already in place have been useful in developing the new underground mine on the West Reef deposit.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 11 -