Shanta Gold Ltd reported steady gold production in the third quarter, during a period when the company continued to intercept high gold grades at its West Kenya project and increased its resource estimate at the New Luika gold mine in Tanzania.
“2021 has proven to be a year of ongoing exploration success, and our Q3 performance is no exception,” said chief executive Eric Zurrin. “With new high-grade resources discovered at both New Luika and West Kenya and a rapidly approaching first production at Singida on target for early 2023, we remain excited in our near and longer-term prospects across our diversified portfolio of assets in East Africa.”
“West Kenya is particularly promising, with a first indicated resource of 117,600 oz grading 7.04 g/t at a conversion rate of over 100% at both the Isulu and Bushiangala deposits announced during the quarter. We remain committed to announcing a total resource estimate in Q1 2022 following 30%-45% of the total planned drilling at West Kenya being completed.”
Gold production from New Luika dipped to 14,194 ounces in the third quarter, from 14,201 ounces in the second quarter, at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$1,480 an ounce. The mine is currently Shanta’s only producing asset.
Shanta, which reduced its full-year guidance in July, retained its annual production guidance for 2021 at 60,000-65,000 ounces at an AISC of US$1,325-1,375 an ounce.
Group EBITDA reduced to US$2.0mln, mainly due to a reduction in gold ounces sold, although prices were also lower. EBITDA excluding expenditure at the West Kenya project and Singida was US$6.5mln.
“Beyond exploration, our robust fundamentals of net cash, low debt, ongoing government support and industry-leading safety performance continue to place us in a position of strength. We are proud to confirm that an interim dividend of 0.10 pence per share will be paid this month,” said Zurrin.
“Our outlook remains positive as we work towards our five-year plan and ambition to become a 100,000+ oz gold producer by 2023.”