Q1: We’re chatting today about Goldplat’s year-end and Q4 operation results, what are the highlights in your opinion?
A1: I think firstly, I feel it was a great achievement to end the year in the line with market expectations on the financial side and those market expectations, the investors can see in our corporate presentation. This is despite the gold price having dropped continuously throughout the year and the volumes produced having decreased. This is due to many factors but primarily I think the ongoing cost-cutting exercises that we’ve been focussing on and also focussing on procuring higher margin material even at the expense of volume at times.
On the operational side, highlights of the quarter, which we can discuss further later on, first of all very consistent and solid performance at GPL, if we can do upwards of 22,000 ounces throughout our base at Goldplat Recovery, it stands us in good stead. Kilimapesa, be it a difficult last quarter, we did produce in excess of 5,000 ounces of gold at Kilimapesa and we are running sustainable at Plant 2 at capacity. Difficulties procuring volumes of material for Gold Recovery Ghana has been an issue but then on a positive note there, we’ve made very very good progress in terms of contracts with a large new client in West Africa and South America. We are confident that these contracts are going to come through this year.
I guess, to make the point again, we’ve always said that we need to make about 8,000-10,000 ounces a year of a big contract to top up the 32,000 ounces, more of less cost the group of product for base production.
Obviously, negative highlights of the year would be the performance at Kilimapesa during the quarter which was worse than all the good progress made in the first 9 months.
Q2: You’ve noted that the Board have given the go-ahead to begin the process of finding a partner at Kilimapesa. Can you elaborate a little bit more on that for us?
A2: Having built Plant 2 during the period, we know the next expansion stage, stage 3, is necessary. We’ve said for some time that we’ll only push the button on this one once we’re comfortable that we’re making sustainable profit at Kilimapesa, furthermore, we do need to begin spending capital on our exploration which should bring significant potential.
So, we’re still not at financing the operation; growth and exploration should probably come from new capital and potentially new investors and the best way to do this in order to obtain and add value to our shareholder value, we should do some sort of corporate deal with Kilimapesa.
So, we’ve just begun speaking to a number of interest parties in this regard and we are making slow but an early-stage progress.
Q3: You did mention Ghana earlier, what was the problem with regards to sourcing of material there?
A3: For some time, we have explained to the market that due to various changes in the local, that’s the Ghanaian gold mining industry, the availability of material locally has, and is fully likely to continue to decrease. So, we have been strongly focussing on developing relationships and agreeing contracts with existing clients in West Africa as well as in America, which I alluded to earlier.
I think the thing is the process takes time, we’ve got the right team on the ground and I’m confident, as I’ve said before, that our efforts will come to fruition in this next financial year.
Q4: Overall production, it’s down 17% on the previous year, is this a worrying reversal of the improvements over the past few years or are you still optimistic?
A4: It’s concerning because Goldplat’s trajectory on all our numbers has be so positively upwards for the last 3 or 4 years, this is the first real step backwards.
I think what we’ve said before consistently is that we need to get, as I said earlier, 8,000-10,000 ounces of a large new contract every year to sustain the kind of production levels we had and at the same time, grow our base. Last year, we did that successfully and this year we missed out on a large contract, but we are confident that we will be bringing in quite early in this financial year.