- Acacia Mining said first-quarter gold production fell 13% year-on-year mainly due to lower production at its North Mara and Buzwagi mines.

Gold production fell 13% to 104,899 ounces for the quarter and sales of 104,985 ounces were in line with production.

At North Mara, gold production for the quarter fell 14% to 66,324 ounces from a year earlier, mainly driven by the consequences of a fall of ground in the Gokona underground mine at the end of December 2018 as well as an excavator breakdown in the Nyabirama open pit, the company said.

In order to address these issues, North Mara had begun working to a revised mining plan from mid-March 2019, with new mine sequencing for both the open pit and underground mines targeting higher grades and increased volumes supported by additional equipment, as well as initiatives to improve recovery rates in the process plant and asset reliability.

Buzwagi gold production fell 20% to 28,577 ounces for the quarter from the prior year, but this was in line with expectations as a result of the mine having fully transitioned to a lower grade stockpile processing operation, the company said.

Bulyanhulu produced 9,999 gold ounces for the quarter, up 17% from the prior year's 8,527 ounces and in line with expectations.

The cash balance as at 31 March 2019 amounted to approximately US$99 million, representing a decrease of net cash of approximately US$17m during the quarter, primarily as a result of the lower production.

Despite the lower production, the company said it remained 'confident of delivering against our full year production guidance of 500,000 to 550,000 ounces.'

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