K92 Mining Inc. [KNT-TSXV; KNTNF-OTCQX] announced production in the third quarter of 22,261 oz AuEq (gold equivalent) at its Kainantu Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea.
During Q3, K92 produced 21,298 ounces of gold, 488,020 pounds of copper and 7,127 ounces of silver, or 22,261 AuEq oz (based on a gold price of US$1,500/oz, a silver price of US$17.75/oz and a copper price of US$2.70/lb).
The quarter also achieved record mill throughput of 64,702 tonnes following successful commissioning of the Stage 2 process plant expansion to double throughput from 200,000 tpa (~550tpd) to 400,000 tpa (~1,100 tpd), including five consecutive days significantly above design, averaging almost 1,200 tpd.
Mining operations in Q3 focused on Kora’s K1 and K2 veins and comprised development tonnes on the K1 vein on five levels, K1 vein long hole stoping (modified AVOCA method) on the 1205 and 1225 mRL level, K2 vein development tonnes from the 1170 mRL level and K2 vein long hole stoping (modified AVOCA method) on the 1185 mRL level.
Importantly, Q3 marked the second full quarter of long hole stoping, which commenced in March 2020 on the K1 vein. To date, long hole stoping has performed to design on both the K1 and K2 veins and has provided a notable positive impact on operational flexibility, including multiple consecutive days exceeding 1,100 tpd of plant feed from underground in Q3. Long hole stoping is planned to increase through 2020 and K92 remains on track to consistently achieve throughput of 1,100 tpd of plant feed from underground by year end.
The blend of K1 and K2 material provided an average head grade to the process plant for Q3 of 11.29 g/t gold and 0.38% copper. Plant feed grades were deliberately lowered during the commissioning period to minimize the potential for gold losses. Gold head grades continued to deliver a positive grade reconciliation. Grades are expected to increase in Q4 as higher-grade mining areas are reprioritized.
In Q3, underground infrastructure development encountered significant mineralization in the Judd #1 Vein (J1 vein), one of four known veins in the Judd vein system. As a result, the infrastructure drive was modified to develop along the J1 vein, providing a bulk sample to be treated during Q4. In addition, a drilling program has commenced on Judd. There are currently two drill rigs targeting Judd from underground, and the underground development drive continues to be advanced to the South. Judd is located on the mining lease and runs parallel to and approximately 200 metres to the North East of Kora. A portion of the Judd material mined has already been processed and blended with Kora material.
The twin incline project made considerable progress in Q3, including completing surface ground support, two portals and portal ground support steel sets.