New Luika Gold Mine
The New Luika Gold Mine (“New Luika”) is currently the 4th largest mine in Tanzania and is in the Songwe District of Southwestern Tanzania approximately 700 km South-West of Dar es Salaam. Production at New Luika commenced in 2012 and the current reserve life was extended in 2021 to 2026. New Luika is an Open Pit and Underground mining operation and employs approximately 990 employees and contractors of which 99% are Tanzanians. New Luika has maintained its reputation as one of the safest gold mining operations of its peers.
Open Pit Operations - Four open pits are planned to be mined as per the current Life of Mine Plan, namely: Shamba (will be concluded in Q1 2022), Elizabeth Hill, Blacktree Hill and Bauhinia Creek North. A contractor-based mining open pit mining operation whereby the contractor’s supply and are supervised and or monitored by New Luika management from the mine plan to the implementation. Porcupine South Open Pit will be added to the reserve-based Life of Mine plan on the award of the Mining Licence which is expected during 2022.
Underground Operations – New Luika transitioned to a predominantly underground operation and entered commercial production in June 2017. All underground operations at our Bauhinia Creek, Luika and Ilunga deposits are performed by New Luika employees.
Processing - The processing is metallurgically simple and conventional involving proven crushing and milling techniques with carbon-in-leach gold extraction delivering robust gold recoveries. Processing plant capacity has now increased to 2,450tpd (885kt pa) following the successful installation of the 3rd mill in H1 2021 with planned production of 74-83koz per annum of doré over the Life of Mine. New Luika has two tailings storage facilities (TSF): TSF 1 which is non-operational and TSF 2 which is operational and in use. TSF 2 was engineered with care to the highest technical standards in 2016 and our aim has been to align its construction and upkeep with the best-practice methodology for TSF in the industry.
Power – New Luika derives its power from three sources namely, Heavy Fuel Oil Power Station (HFO), national grid electricity supply (TANESCO), and its solar farm (Understood to be the largest solar farm in Tanzania).
Water – New Luika receives its water requirements from various sources namely, Jamhuri Pit, HIPO Dam, Luika River Dam, and multiple boreholes.
New Luika has established a solid operational track record for converting inferred resources to reserves and extending the mine life accordingly. A total of 504 Koz of new reserves have been added to the New Luika mine plan since 2015.
With the underground mine at New Luika fully established, exploration activities are currently being conducted in three distinct areas to extend the life of the operation:
- Targeted locations within existing mining licences adjacent to the underground reserves at our Bauhinia Creek, Luika and Ilunga deposits;
- Within the economic circle of New Luika; and,
- Regionally, utilizing prospective exploration ground held by the Company within the Lupa Goldfield.
The regional geology of the Lupa Goldfield is characterised by deformed, folded, sheared and metamorphosed paleoproterozoic rocks with major fold axes trending east southeast to west northwest. The following main lithological units occur in the region:
- Ilunga Granite Formation
The Ilunga Granite is located in the northern portion of the Lupa Goldfield and is mostly comprised of a medium to coarse grained leucogranite (aplogranite). Biotite and muscovite are commonly associated secondary minerals.
- Saza Granite Formation
The Saza Granite is located in the central portion of the Lupa Goldfield and consists of numerous rock types including hornblende rich granites and hornblende-biotite rich granodiorites.
- Gneiss Formation
The Gneiss Formation, the main ore bearing host, is the dominant rock unit within the Lupa Goldfield. The Gneiss Formation has been subjected to at least three granitic intrusive events that have given rise to a variety of rock types such as felsitic gneiss, biotite and hornblende granite gneiss, leucocratic granular gneiss. Diorite, granodiorite and granite rocks are evident within the Gneiss Formation.
Mineralised quartz veined targets are hosted within brittle-ductile to ductile deformational features of variable orientation.