IN positive news for the PNG resources sector K92 Mining Inc. has achieved and declared commercial production at the historic Kainantu Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands.

K92 reported that production for the month of January 2018 exceeded 2,700 ozs gold equivalent (2,500 ozs gold). The company said that this level of production, based on the budgeted monthly operating costs, Total Cash Costs for the month of January are expected to be below US$850/oz gold equivalent.

K92 has defined commercial production as having commenced stope production underground, achieving a minimum of 60% of designed gold production and a minimum of 90% of designed metal recovery from the process plant over a 30 day period. These metrics were met during the month of January and the company expects them to be maintained going forward and has therefore declared commercial production effective February 1, 2018.

Production levels from the Kora North area are anticipated to continue building up over the coming months from development and tonnage from the cut and fill stopes, with design levels expected to be achieved during in the June 2018 Quarter, when the first long hole stope production commences.

K92 CEO and director, John Lewins, said commercial production was a very significant milestone for the Canadian company which acquired the Kainantu mine from Barrick Gold in 2015.

“That we have achieved this mining the Kora North Lode, eight months after drilling the first discovery hole and just four months after commencing grade control drilling and the treatment of the initial bulk sample is a testament to the professionalism, enthusiasm and ability of the entire team at our Kainantu operation,” Mr Lewins said.