VANCOUVER, May 30, 2023 - Monument Mining Ltd. (TSX-V: MMY and FSE: D7Q1) ("Monument" or the "Company") is pleased to update the progress at the Selinsing Sulphide Project. The ramp-up of the flotation plant has made great headway, with the mill feed rate of 113 dry tonnes per hour achieved, being 95% of the design capacity of 119 dry tonnes per hour. The plant construction and mine development consumed a total of $18 million, in line with the budget.
President and CEO Cathy Zhai commented, "We are very pleased with the flotation plant ramp-up progress as we head towards full commercial production. We have commenced sulphide production in January 2023 and continue testing and adjusting to improve plant performance through the action plan. Despite several incidental plant shutdowns during March to May, the plant is expected to reach its near or full production level by June 2023, within the planned ramp up period of three to six months. To date, the flotation plant has produced approximately 3,450 dry metric tonnes ("DMT") of concentrate with an average gold grade of 36.20 g/t, containing 4,015 troy ounces of gold. Several export permits have been recently granted by the relevant authority and concentrate shipments are currently in progress."
Figure 1. Concentrate in Tent is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f39acde0-f30d-4cb5-ba04-acfcffe21613
Figure 2. Concentrate Storage Construction is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/616859ef-54ec-4981-af79-7bf9dbeb3575
Flotation Plant Production Ramp-up
The ramp-up of the flotation plant continued, with the mill feed rate of 113 dry tonnes per hour achieved, being 95% of the design capacity of 119 dry tonnes per hour. During this ramp-up process bottlenecks have been identified and the team has been working to correct them in order to ramp up to commercial production. The ramp-up period is expected to be completed in June 2023.
Certain design deficiencies have been detected and revision of designs have been received to improve performance efficiencies including design of a new rougher flotation tailings hopper and associated pipework, structural and civils drawings and specifications for the new concentrate thickener overflow pumps. Pump suction and delivery lines will be upgraded as well as the power supply to the bigger motors required. None of the above works has material impact on our current flotation plant operations.
The flotation plant experienced major shutdowns from early March to first week of May. The Metso-Outotec concentrate thickener rake drive gearbox was broken, replaced by a new gear box assembled in Australia, airfreighted to Malaysia, and installed. The concentrate thickener was then recommissioned, and all concentrates were recovered to the circuit. Further loss of production occurred in April until May as the filter press cloths started failing prematurely due to manufacturing defects; the supplier has accepted the defects and will supply two new sets of higher permeability filter cloths. In the meantime, replacement filter press cloths were sourced and delivered from local suppliers. Management is focused on reviewing all critical parts and in advancing the procurement plan.
Construction of the new concentrate shed continued with the concrete floor poured and the erection of structural steelwork commencing. The shed is expected to be completed by mid-June and will hold enough capacity for over 4,500 tonnes of concentrate or one month's production.
Construction of the 100-tonne capacity weighbridge was completed, and the unit was calibrated and certified by the Metrology Corporation of Malaysia.
Manufacture of the 1 tonne bulk bagging system has been completed in the UK and is ready to be shipped to Malaysia.
Figure 3: Weighbridge is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/184810b7-a354-4785-a5d4-e65d2c2e99d0
Figure 4: Ammonium Nitrate Storage Area is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a0da4743-e701-4cae-8553-f15f6ce7be1f
Mining of the first stages of Buffalo Reef pits BRC2 and BRC3 continued, transition sulphide ore was delivered to the ROM pad and oxide ore to stockpiles elsewhere. The stockpile of around one month of process plant feed of 80,000 tonnes was maintained, with mining production over the next six months expected to boost this to at least three months or 240,000 tonnes of ore. The arrival of the new mining fleet will help enhance the mining rates.
Unexpected heavy rain in February 2023 slowed down the mining rates and explosives delivery shortages were experienced from supplier Austin Powders due to their implementation of a stricter explosive trucking policy. The explosive supply situation will be helped by the opening of a new storage facility at Bentong, which is much closer than the current supply from Kuala Lumpur. In addition, a new depot for raw materials including ammonium nitrate is being constructed at the Selinsing mine site. These developments will ensure the availability of explosives in the future by providing alternatives. Construction of this facility is ongoing and scheduled for initial use in June 2023.
Recently, several export permits and transportation permits have been granted to Selinsing which enable Selinsing to initiate the shipment for its first sales.
Around the Hari Raya holiday on April 21st, the new operational mining scheme (OMS) expired on April 16th, 2023 and was renewed on April 20th, 2023. The annual and monthly blasting permits expired along with the OMS and there was insufficient time for the requisite approvals for these permits before the Hari Raya holiday period. The two blasting permits were issued on May 11th, 2023 when mining activities resumed.
Concentrate Sales Preparation
Off take agreements or business confirmation letters for off-take of Selinsing gold concentrate have been signed with several concentrate buyers under competitive commercial terms. Several buyers have received export permits and the shipments are underway. The first 2,000 DMT of gold concentrate production is now available for sale and the royalties for this concentrate have been paid to the parastatal Pahang Mining Corporation.
The Company closely monitors uncontrollable risk factors with building and operation the flotation plant including: change of market conditions, change of gold prices, operation risks including critical parts shortages which may cause a longer than expected ramp up period, and changes in regulatory restrictions in relation to arsenic level contained in gold concentrate.
Monument Mining Ltd. (TSX-V: MMY, FSE: D7Q1) is an established Canadian gold producer that 100% owns and operates the Selinsing Gold Mine in Malaysia and the Murchison Gold Project in the Murchison area of Western Australia. It has 20% interest in Tuckanarra Gold Project jointly owned with Odyssey Gold Ltd in the same region. The Company employs approximately 200 people in both regions and is committed to the highest standards of environmental management, social responsibility, and health and safety for its employees and neighboring communities.
Cathy Zhai, President and CEO
Monument Mining Ltd.
Suite 1580 -1100 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4A6
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION visit the company web site at www.monumentmining.com or contact:
Richard Cushing, MMY Vancouver T: +1-604-638-1661 x102 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Disclaimer Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes statements containing forward-looking information about Monument, its business and future plans ("forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements are statements that involve expectations, plans, objectives or future events that are not historical facts and include the Company's plans with respect to its mineral projects, expectations regarding the completion of the ramp-up period to target production level at Selinsing and the timing thereof, expectations regarding the Company's continuing ability to source explosives from suppliers, expectations regarding completion of the proposed storage shed and ammonium nitrate depot and the timing thereof, and the timing and results of the other proposed programs and events referred to in this news release. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". The forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and certain other factors include, without limitation: risks related to general business, economic, competitive, geopolitical and social uncertainties; uncertainties regarding the results of current exploration activities; uncertainties in the progress and timing of development activities, including those related to the ramp-up process at Selinsing and the completion of the proposed storage shed and ammonium nitrate depot; uncertainties and risks related to the Company's ability to source explosives from suppliers; foreign operations risks; other risks inherent in the mining industry and other risks described in the management discussion and analysis of the Company and the technical reports on the Company's projects, all of which are available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Material factors and assumptions used to develop forward-looking statements in this news release include: expectations regarding the estimated cash cost per ounce of gold production and the estimated cash flows which may be generated from the operations, general economic factors and other factors that may be beyond the control of Monument; assumptions and expectations regarding the results of exploration on the Company's projects; assumptions regarding the future price of gold of other minerals; the timing and amount of estimated future production; assumptions regarding the timing and results of development activities, including the ramp-up process at Selinsing and the completion of the proposed storage shed and ammonium nitrate depot; expectations that the Company will continue to be able to source explosives from suppliers in a timely manner; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; exchange rates; and all of the factors and assumptions described in the management discussion and analysis of the Company and the technical reports on the Company's projects, all of which are available under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.