THE Geita Gold Mine said on Thursday its output fell 18 per cent during last year's fourth quarter, compared to the previous year as production costs steeply shot up.
The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, said it produced 118,000 ounce (oz) gold during the period (September - December 2012), which was also down 7.0 per cent compared to the third quarter of the same year. "These results," the firm said in a statement, "are consistent with our business planning in which we are stockpiling higher grade material for scheduled replacement of the primary mill in first quarter of this year."
On the other hand, the annual production costs increased 70 per cent compared to the same period last year. It also went up 21 per cent in comparison to previous quarter. "Rising costs are attributed to a combination of factors, including increased amount charged as royalties on gold sales. "This was further compounded by the supply chain write down of yearend consumables stock," the firm said.
The annual cash costs were 653 US dollars per oz, a raise of 22 per cent on 2011. The Geita mine located on the shores of Lake Victoria has paid up 683 million US dollars in direct contributions through taxes and royalties since 2000. In 2012 alone, the company's payments to the authorities reached 213.8 million US dollars, up from 101.1 million US dollars in 2011.
On safety issues, it said, in 2012 "all injury frequency rate" was 1.62 per million hours worked -- tragically there was one fatality during the year in a light vehicle accident. "Safety is our number one priority, andÉ safety incident rates have fallen 75 per cent since 2009," Geita Gold said in the statement.