Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA) shares gained after saying it expects to reach the upper end of its full year production guidance range.
The miner, which has been banned from exporting gold and copper concentrates from Tanzania in a long-running dispute with the government over undeclared royalties allegedly owed, said it delivered output of 391,000 gold ounces in the year to date.
“As a result, we expect to exceed the upper end of our full year production guidance range of 435,000 to 475,000 ounces and are now targeting production to be marginally in excess of 500,000 ounces for the full year,” said Peter Geleta, interim chief executive.
In the third quarter, gold production dropped 29% to 136,640 ounces due to the decision to reduce operations at the Bulyanhulu mine and to stockpile processing at Buzwagi following the export ban.
Buzwagi gold production declined 47% to 36,460 ounces for the quarter while Bulyanhulu production fell 78% to 10,893 ounces.
North Mara, which is unaffected by the ban, achieved a 24% rise in gold production to 89,287 ounces for the quarter as grades increased by 21%.
At the end of the quarter, Acacia had a cash balance of US$117mln, broadly flat on the previous quarter. Net cash rose by US$11mln to US$74mln at the end of the period.
Shares edged up 4.02% to 150p in morning trading.
Barrick Gold continues talks with Tanzania government on Acacia’s behalf
Acacia’s majority shareholder Barrick Gold Corp has been negotiating with the Tanzania government on Acacia’s behalf.
In October last year, Barrick reached a framework agreement with the government that would see Acacia make a payment of US$300mln and share the economic benefits from its mining 50/50 going forward.
However, discussions remain ongoing and Acacia needs to give any final deal its approval.
In September, Barrick said it had agreed to buy Randgold Resources PLC (LON:RR) in an all-share deal to create the world’s largest gold miner valued at US$18.3bn.
Acacia has said it would be seeking further clarity from Barrick over the deal.
Third quarter update 'impressive', says RBC
"ACA delivered an impressive set of Q3 operational results with production well ahead of both our forecasts (+13%) and consensus (+20%)," said Royal Bank of Canada.
"A FY guidance increase of +5% to “marginally above 500koz” was the cherry on top. This clearly demonstrates management are delivering on what they can control, i.e. driving production as the negotiations between the government of Tanzania and parent Barrick continue."