- Ora Banda Mining has been continuing major exploration programs across deposits during the June quarter.
- OBM received significant results from various drilling and mining activities despite operational challenges.
- The Company has numerous activities planned to be undertaken across the deposits in the current and coming months.
Uniquely positioned gold producer Ora Banda Mining Limited (ASX:OBM) has been progressing exploration works across various deposits located at its Davyhurst Project during the June quarter. These include open pit and underground mining operations at deposits along with progressing commissioning of the Davyhurst processing plant.
However, plant stability issues and lower than forecast grade into the plant impacted the gold production during the quarter. The company is working on improvement initiatives in both these areas.
Mining operations continued across deposits
During the quarter, the Company commenced mining operations at the Missouri open pit. Initial machinery was mobilised to the site, and works commenced re-entering the historic pit and initiating preparations for full-scale operations and a small quantity of ore was extracted from the pit.
With continued open pit mining activities at Riverina, productivity remained consistent despite the growing drill and blast requirements of the pit moving deeper.
Riverina open pit (Source: OBM Announcement 28/07/21)
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Moreover, the Riverina operations were somewhat ahead of gold mined for the full year as compared to budget. With mined gold from Riverina exceeding the Reserve estimate by around 1,000 oz of mined gold, the mined gold is broadly in line with the Ore Reserve despite being comprised of more tonnes at a lower grade.
Key exploration work across deposits
Operations at the Missouri open pit mine also commenced during the quarter, with site offices and communications established and some initial mining equipment mobilised to site to allow preparatory works in and around the pit to commence.
Missouri initial office, workshop and fuel farm set-up (Source: OBM Announcement 28/07/21)
The remedial work concerning the pit floor in Missouri and the ramp to enable operations to commence at full production levels shall be completed by the end of the current month. As part of this process, OBM looks forward to mining the ore with 6,339 t @ 1.28 g/t being mined during the June quarter.
At the Golden Eagle underground mine, OBM witnessed a dramatical improvement in the operations with 637m of total development achieved during the quarter and 72,235 t @ 2.45 g/t for 5,692 oz of total ore mined.
Ore drive underground at Golden Eagle (Source: OBM Announcement 28/07/21)
A summary of OBM’s an exploration and evaluation activities across various deposits during the quarter is given below:
Source: OBM ASX Announcement 28/07/21
Besides these developments, OBM concluded a total of 1,300 metres of exploration RC drilling over three exploration prospects, including Victoria, Golden Marvel and Blue Tongue. Presently, assay return on all regional exploration drilling samples is awaited.
Ore processing and the impact on processing plant throughput
OBM processed a total ore of 201,817 tonnes at an average grade of 1.81 g/t for 11,733 oz of contained gold during the quarter. This was achieved amid the negatively impacted processing and processing plant throughput due to several significant factors, with materials handling characteristics being the key factor.
OBM has been actively working on mitigating any potential developments that can negatively impact the Company’s progress.
Further, the improvements gained from OBM’s stockpiling strategy and improved mining performance are reflected through the increase in the processed head grade from 1.53gpt to 1.81gpt quarter on quarter.
OBM also initiated the construction of a new tailings storage facility (TSF) cell and shall be constructed to a high standard. Earthworks for the TSF are anticipated to conclude during the September quarter with piping and other ancillary works expected to conclude in the further quarter.
Capital raising and cash position
OBM raised AU$21 million before costs under placement and an additional AU$745,000 via a Share Purchase Plan through the issue of shares at AU$0.17 per share during the quarter. The Company witnessed strong support for the capital raising from domestic as well as international new and present shareholders.
During the quarter, the costs were majorly in line with the estimates made in the DFS. However, the low gold production attained for the quarter adversely impacted the costs per ounce.
At the end of the quarter, the Company’s cash and unsold bullion on hand stood at AU$24.22 million and 857 oz Au, respectively. Moreover, the Company continues to be debt-free.
Key events after the quarter end
Subsequent to the quarter end, OBM conducted a detailed structural mapping of the Golden Eagle underground deposit, which offered increased confidence in their new interpretation. Further, OBM has initiated a drill program to confirm the re-interpretation.
In another development, Mr David Quinlivan has moved from the position of Managing Director (MD) to Non-Executive Director with the promotion of Mr Peter Nicholson from CEO to the role if MD.
The OBM stock was noted at AU$0.150, up by 15.384% on 28 July 2021.