Resolute Mining Ltd.'s Syama underground mine in Mali has started sublevel cave ore production, along with the extraction of first ore from the southern end of the Syama sublevel cave.
According to Managing Director and CEO John Welborn, the mine is the "world's first, purpose built, fully automated sub-level cave gold mine."
Welborn added that the commissioning of a series of sulphide processing plant upgrades will enable the company to achieve improved recoveries from high-grade ore sourced from the new sublevel cave.
He said that the combination of mine automation, improved recoveries and lower cost power has the potential to increase Syama site production to 300,000 ounces of gold per annum and reduce life of mine all-in sustaining costs to below US$750 per ounce.
The company said Dec. 14 that mining rates will gradually be build up over the first half of 2019 and are expected to reach nameplate capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per annum by the end of June 2019.
The commissioning of fully autonomous fleet is expected to start in January 2019, while commissioning of autonomous loading of haul trucks is scheduled to start in May 2019 and autonomous haulage will start in August 2019.
In November, the company signed an agreement with Ignite Energy Projects Pty. Ltd. for the development of a 40 MW solar hybrid power plant at Syama.