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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: September 4th 2002


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:: Bonte Problems Update

Gold production at the Bonte Mine in Ghanafor the second quarter of the year was 11, 870 ounces, compared to 17, 512 ounces produced in the second quarter of 2001.For the first half of the year, the Company produced 25, 115 ounces compared to a record 37, 370 ounces during the first half of 2001.This 33% decrease in production is a result of continued poor gold recovery and plant downtime for the installation of the Knelson concentrators and cyclone recovery equipment.

On July 22 excessive and abnormal wear was encountered on the Knelson Concentrator cones resulting in unacceptably low gold recoveries and as such further commissioning of the system has been suspended until warranty replacement cones arrive at the Bonte Mine by mid-August, at which point Akrokeri expects to complete the commissioning of the system. The manufacturer of the Knelson Concentrators and Akrokeri are working together to determine the cause of the wear in order to avoid this problem in the future. Further adjustments to the primary cyclones will also be made during August to increase effectiveness, since these units are not performing as well as expected. Until these changes are completed, mining is again being re-directed to remnant ore blocks with coarser grained gold particles.




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