The company said the new plant is currently processing approximately 5,000t per month, and, as such, the incumbent plant is no longer needed.
With Plant 2 at work, the fine material Plant 1 processed will now go to it, where it will enter the classifier and the cyclone directly and bypass milling. The process, according to the company, will boost throughput and provide a better margin per ounce recovered.
Crews from Plant 1 will be reassigned to other positions at the new facility, or the mine as possible.
Goldplat is already looking ahead to the next step, the planned Stage 3 expansion at Plant 2, which will be performed on a modular basis when financing permits. That phase of work includes an additional thickener and carbon-in-leach (CIL) tanks to further optimise recovery efficiencies; a second mill, which is already purchased and on-site, which will be used as a spare at first and in production later; and the construction of a more cost-effective tailings dam layout.
"Our commitment and focus at Kilimapesa, and indeed our operations as a whole, is to build production output and profitability," CEO Gerard Kisbey-Green said. "Having successfully executed a phased development plan to improve operational efficiencies at the mine by installing a new processing plant, we are delighted that Plant 2 is now established enough that we can continue running this plant as our sole processing facility."
The miner confirmed that Plant 1's closure will leave it with a drop in production for the last quarter and will leave it whole-year at just under 5,000oz. The lower production costs of the new facility, however, should give it a positive impact on profitability.
Kilimapesa is located in the Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt of southwestern Kenya. Its total resource is 8,715,291t (2.40g/t) for a total of 671,446oz of gold (1g/t). It produced 2,005oz in FY2016.