Golden Star Achieves Commercial Production at Prestea Underground

The headframe for the underground operation towers above the Prestea community.
Golden Star Resources reported in early February that it has achieved commercial production at its Prestea Underground gold mine in southwest Ghana. Project construction, including installation of all ancillary infrastructure, was complete and operational. Gold production will continue to ramp up during 2018.

Golden Star is mining Prestea Underground’s West Reef orebody, which has proven and probable mineral reserves of 1.09 million metric tons (mt) grading 13.93 grams per mt. Exploration drilling is under way at the mine with the objective of increasing the annual production rate and extending the mine life.

Full-year 2018 production guidance for the Prestea complex, including Prestea Underground and the Prestea open pits, is 93,000 ounces (oz) to 113,000 oz of gold at cash operating costs of $740 to $880/oz. Prestea is located 16 kilometers (km) from Golden Star’s 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.

Golden Star acquired the Prestea property in 2001 and placed it on care and maintenance. Extensive surface infrastructure and underground development remaining from previous operations aided in developing the new underground mine.

“Achieving commercial production at Prestea Underground is an important milestone in Golden Star’s transformation into a high-grade, margin-focused gold producer,” Golden Star President and CEO Sam Coetzer said. “It is also a significant historical moment for the Prestea community as it has been over 15 years since the mine was previously in commercial production. I would like to thank our host communities for their continued support during the construction and commissioning periods.”

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 03 -