Initial drill results at Akrokeri are extremely encouraging with high grade intersections confirming the continuity of a mineralised zone along strike. The companies interim results showed a narrowing of loss with maiden profit in sight
It was a busy news week for Goldstone with first assays back earlier than expected on the 15 hole Akrokeri drill programme along with the company publishing their interim results. In addition the company confirmed extension of their gold-loan agreement with AIMS who are also a large and supportive shareholder in Goldstone.
The company gave a detailed update on the first 6 months of 2022’s operations and financial performance. Losses from operations for the first 6 months narrowed to US$0.29 million and it was noted that if it were not for the theft of gold earlier in the year, the company would have reported an operating profit.
The company acknowledged that since first gold pour in November 2021, there had been a number of issues that have arisen that have resulted in lower production guidance for 2022. From a technical view point, initial recoveries had been lower than expected but the company are now well on top of this with recoveries improving significantly due to changes in the agglomeration and crushing circuit – this is good news for H2 production.
Along with initial recovery issues, the company have experienced some unforeseen events such as a prolonged rainy season impacting stacking of ore and earlier in the year an armed robbery of gold concentrate. This all on the back of wider global issues and covid that has also offered additional challenges.
The revised minimum production guidance for 2022 is now 7,000oz however the company are still targeting the 14,000oz original target and hope to make up lost ground now recoveries are improving.
It’s clear to me as an investor that Goldstone (and in fact normal for any maiden producing mining company for that matter) have experienced teething issues but when you look at the challenges that have been overcome including building the mine through covid, having to build their own gold room in just 6 weeks, dealing with theft of gold and a difficult operating environment, the company have still maintained operations.
In fact the company have stated that the direction of travel from here is clear and that they expect production trajectory to continue to improve from here whilst expanding Homase and commencing a drill campaign at Akrokeri. This is a clear testament to the team and importantly the three key supportive shareholders BCM, Paracale and AIMS.
Akrokeri Drill Programme
The Akrokeri drill programme is running alongside the production and expansion of Homase. The mine as discussed in previous blogs was a previously producing mine in the early 20th century. The mine is 100% owned by Goldstone and in its short initial operation produced 75,000oz of gold at an averaged recovered grade of an impressive 24g/t.
The company have embarked upon a 15 hole, 1,500 metre diamond-drill programme with the aim of proving up an additional high-grade resource that can compliment the production at Homase. The initial focus here is on shallower high grade sections that can be brought into production faster thus increasing the companies mineable resource and production profile.
That said due to the nature of some of the very high grades and even Bonanza grades found at Akrokeri along with its proximity to the 70Moz Obuasi mine, further exceptional drill results could warrant a higher capex and even JV operation, all eyes on next drill assays!
The first three holes have provided very encouraging results with some drill interactions returning grades of up to 41g/t and confirming the continuity of the mineralised zone along strike from the former operating mine.
The company will publish further results from the remaining 12 holes over the coming weeks – this will be an exciting drill campaign to watch !
The Path to Profitability
It’s probably unsurprising that the companies share price has fallen back significantly since last year. In this dire market (and it’s truly been dire!), only a few hiccups can see share prices battered but it also needs to be taken in context of the companies capital structure or free float.
You can see that over 60% of shares are in sticky hands with around 38% of shares in board members control. What does this mean? It means that in times of low liquidity and fear like now, modest retail selling can knock back a share price disproportionally. The astute investor will therefore understand that as fortunes change, buying stock could be equally hard.
The company have had to deal with a number of issues in their first year of operation but the future does now look much brighter. For me it’s now about an improved H2 and 2023.
Production should ramp up from here given recovery issues sorted and development of Homase and Akrokeri should add to the companies mineable resource (current JORC 650,000oz) and ultimately production profile.
As stated in interims, the company would have actually delivered an operating period profit were it not for the unforeseen theft. The company should be providing an updated production schedule soon along with drill results from both additional work at Homase and of course the larger drill programme at Akrokeri.
A stable H2 and growth into 2023 could mark a step change for Goldstone and its investors all with the back-drop of what looks like it could be an improving gold market.
As the saying goes, buy when others are fearful !
I hold a position.
If you are interested in Goldstone it’s worth following the twitter account where information on Homase/Akrokeri and operations is regularly posted
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Research materials prepared based upon my own analysis and research. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed and research notes should not be taken as investment advice. Please always do your own research.