Vast’s flagship project in Zimbabwe is the Pickstone-Peerless Gold mine in Chegutu. It also holds interests in some explorations in Romania.
The group said $2, 5 million is “on deposit with banks and institutions at end of period – cash will be retained in Zimbabwe to fund expenditure on the sulphide plant expansion and the development of the Giant Gold Mine.”
It said construction of the sulphide processing plant required for the next phase of mining has commenced, with the first sulphide production is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.
And evaluation of the nearby Giant Gold Mine, which has a current JORC-compliant inferred resource of 500 000 ounces of gold, is “on-going”
Meanwhile, gold output at the flagship Pickstone-Peerless mine dropped by 11 percent to 4 356 ounces in the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2016.
Management attributed the weakened performance to increased rains that disrupted mining and milling operations. Ore mined also declined 6 percent to 61 355 tonnes compared to the prior quarter figures of 65 573 tonnes.
Commenting on the development Vast CEO Mr Roy Pitchford said: “The period also saw severe weather impact our operations in Zimbabwe, where unusually high rainfall in December and January resulted in lower milling and production at the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine.
“Despite the operational challenges experienced during the period, the mine still delivered production of 4 356 ounces of gold at an impressively low cost of $619 per ounce versus an average sales price of $1 231 per ounce.”
He added that production has now returned to normal levels and the company was now optimistic about future production. Earlier this year, the group intimated plans to sell around half of its shares in Pickstone-Peerless to a Mauritian investment company for $4 million.