Hambledon Mining, the Kazakhstan gold mining and development company, has begun underground mining at its Sekisovskoye gold project in eastern Kazakhstan,
one month ahead of schedule.
The firm believes that initial underground production levels will be modest, but say they are scheduled to increase steadily throughout 2012.
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The grade of the ore being mined is expected to average 5.5g gold per tonne after dilution.
Optimisation of the mining method will allow the cost of production to be minimised, lowering the company's overall cost per ounce, the firm said.
The company will continue to development the main decline, together with infrastructure such as de-watering stations and exploration drill chambers.
Chief executive officer Tim Daffern said: "The successful commencement of underground mining marks a significant milestone in the development of Sekisovskoye and is the next step in expanding Hambledon's long term gold production.
"The underground mining will increase gold production and cash generation thereby underpinning the company's objective of profits growth in Kazakhstan."
The share price rose 14.29% to 4p by 15:23.
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