Canada’s Asante Gold (TSX-V: ASE) (GSE: ASG) has begun commercial production at its Bibiani gold mine in Ghana, which is expected to produce 20,000 ounces of the precious metal per month by early 2023.
The news follows three months of consistent production since the first gold pour in July, two months ahead of schedule, the company said.
All process plant and mine facilities have been operating on a 24 hour per day basis from late June, with roughly 220,000 tonnes of ore in September and about 206,000 tonnes of ore in October, it said.
Asante plans to increase throughput at Bibiani, which it acquired last year from Australia’s Resolute Mining (ASX, LON: RSG), to 250,000 tonnes of ore per month by early 2023.
The Vancouver-based miner said production in September surpassed 9,300 ounces, which is 17% above the company’s start up plan. October production was 9,910 ounces, 15% above plan, it noted.
“We are very pleased with the progress has been achieved at Bibiani,” CEO Dave Anthony said in the statement. “Over the past 12 months the Bibiani Mine Team has established a track record of over achievement and we look forward to increasing the value of this asset.”
Last year, the country’s total production of the precious metal fell 29.9% to slightly over 2.8 million ounces from the previous year, reaching its lowest level since 2008, according to official data.
The drop means that Ghana is no longer the top gold producer in Africa, but the second, after South Africa.
Asante Gold has strong ties to Ghana, with Ghanaian citizens holding a significant shareholding, as well as board and executive roles.