Firefinch said 100,000 tonnes of ore from Morila Pit 5 has already been hauled to run of mine (RoM) stockpiles being readied for its crusher.
This ore will be added to approximately 530,000 tonnes of ore mechanically mined from a Tailings Facility.
Malian contractor EGTF has been using 100-tonne class fleet to completed preparatory works including re-establishment of the haul road to the crushers, and for haulage to the crusher run of mine (RoM) stockpiles, said the company.
Morila Pit 5 has an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 840,000 tonnes at 1.1g/t.
"It is very exciting to be off and running with our first open pit mining operation at Morila. The location of Pit 5 right next to our operating processing plant, combined with recent drilling results that enhanced economics, made it a compelling opportunity to fast-track first production before we commence mining at our other satellite deposits," said Firefinch's managing director, Dr Michael Anderson.
Morila Pit 5, which is just on the western margin of the main Morila pit, delivered intercepts such as 19m at 41.4 grams per tonne from 40m, and 19m at 4.37gpt from 64m, including 7m at 7.53gpt, reported Mining Journal on April 30.
Pit 5 is just 1km from the plant, and is said to have the same geology with stacked, shallow, flat-lying lodes, with the high grades said to highlight the potential for additional shoots to be defined.
Anderson added that the company's "main prize" now is bringing the "Morila Super Pit"into operation.
Last month, the company started dewatering of the super pit in readiness for mining to commence in 2022. It estimates a resource "around and beneath" the existing pit totalling nearly 2.2 million ounces.