Golden Star achieves commercial production at Wassa Underground Gold Mine
TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2017 /CNW/ – Golden Star Resources Ltd. (NYSE MKT: GSS; TSX: GSC; GSE: GSR) ("Golden Star" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that commercial production has been achieved at its Wassa Underground Gold Mine ("Wassa Underground") in Ghana, effective January 1, 2017.
The project construction of Wassa Underground, including the installation of all ancillary infrastructure, is essentially complete and operational, in accordance with the Company's planned schedule and budget.
Gold production is anticipated to continue to ramp up during 2017 as Golden Star's mining operations begin to access the B Shoot, which is a higher grade area of the Wassa Underground ore body. The Company plans to begin longitudinal stoping of the B Shoot in the first quarter of 2017, with the larger, transverse stopes expected to be accessed in the third quarter of 2017.
Since Golden Star blasted the first stope at Wassa Underground in July 2016, the Company has been mining development and stope ore in the F Shoot. Golden Star expects to announce its full year 2016 production results, including the production results for Wassa Underground, and its full year 2017 guidance in terms of production, operating costs and capital expenditures later in January 2017.
Sam Coetzer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star, commented:
"Achieving commercial production at Wassa Underground marks the successful completion of a 17 month construction period. It is also another important milestone in our transformation into a high grade, non-refractory gold producer. Golden Star also anticipates that it will benefit from Wassa Underground's lower cost production, as a result of the higher grade ore being fed into the Wassa processing plant. I want to thank our project construction team for their outstanding efforts as Wassa Underground was constructed safely, on schedule and within our capital budget. I look forward to announcing our full year 2016 production results and our full year 2017 guidance later this month."
Golden Star is an established gold mining company that owns and operates the Wassa and Prestea mines situated on the prolific Ashanti Gold Belt in western Ghana, Africa. Listed on the NYSE MKT, the TSX, and the GSE, Golden Star is strategically focused on increasing operating margins and cash flow through the development of two high grade, low cost underground mines both in conjunction with existing open pit operations. The Wassa Underground Gold Mine commenced commercial production in January 2017 and the Prestea Underground Gold Mine is expected to achieve commercial production in mid-2017. Both projects are fully funded and on track to begin production as expected. Production in 2016 is expected to be between 180,000–205,000 ounces of gold with costs of US$815–US$925 per ounce.