- Shanta Gold has booked record annual gold production for 2016 of 87,713 oz, beating guidance of 82,000-87,000 oz and from 81,873 oz in 2015.

Gold sales for 2016 were 86,331 oz, from 80,622 oz in the prior year, at an average price of $1232/oz, compared with an average spot price of $1249/oz.

Looking ahead into 2017, Shanta guided for production of 80,000-85,000 oz at AISC of $800-$850/oz.

"The transition from surface to underground operations will require processing of lower grade ores during H1 2017 as access to higher grade underground ore is established," the company said.

"This will result in production being weighted to the second half of the year," it added in a statement.

Shanta further noted that 2016 costs benefited significantly from an accelerated mining programme for the remaining lives of both the Luika and Bauhinia Creek open pits.

It said this innovative approach significantly reduced the mining costs, but was confined to the 2016 year. "It should be noted that the initial guidance for AISC in 2016 was $750-$800/oz."

The company added that the Base Case Mine Plan 2016-2020 guidance was for five-year average production of 84,000 oz with a life-of-mine average AISC of $695/oz.

At 9:40am: [LON:SHG] Shanta Gold Ltd share price was -0.75p at 10.5p

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