Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) achieved more than A$10 million in gold sales from its flagship Penny’s Find project during the December quarter, after completing three toll treatment campaigns.
During the quarter, 84,367 tonnes of ore was fed through Lakewood Mill and Burbanks Mill in Western Australia.
The average head grade was 3.09 grams per tonne, with an average gold recovery of 93.5%, with 35% extracted by gravity.
The company’s cash costs were A$1,692, which reflected the expenses from moving waste from the upper pit level.
According to Empire, this cost will be significantly reduced as it digs in to the higher grade ore.
Adding to this situation, is the company’s consistently rising gold grades with each campaign. The first campaign averaged 2.3g/t gold, while the second campaign improved to 2.50g/t gold and the most recent and third campaign averaged 4.02g/t.
In its report, Empire advised it had sold 7,837 ounces of gold for the period.
More gold to come
Empire has more than 25,000t of higher grade ore stockpiled in anticipation for its early February processing campaign at the Lakewood Mill.
Grade control drilling results in late December had intercepted 7m grading 6.22g/t gold, 7m grading 12.50g/t gold and 9m grading 20.60 gold.
In addition to extracting the higher grade ore, Empire is looking to progress Penny’s Find into an underground operation.
The company reported an underground resource for Penny’s Find in mid-December of 248,000t grading 7.04g/t gold for 56,000 ounces of gold.
To-date the resource remains open at depth and is situated directly beneath the open pit.
A feasibility study is underway at the project to calculate the potential of moving the operation underground, with Stephen Rodgers appointed in mid-November to manage the study.
In anticipation of a positive feasibility study outcome, Mr Rodgers is also assisting with preparing on-site infrastructure for moving underground, as well as collating documents and securing requisite approvals.
Empire’s share price slipped 5.88% in trade today to end the day at A$0.016.