Production set to soar to 100,000 ounces a year after completion of mill

Focus Minerals (ASX:FML) is pleased to announce that it is set to become a 100,000-ounce-a-year-plus gold producer within 12 months after commissioning the Three Mill Hill mill at its rapidly growing Tindals Mining Centre in WA’s Eastern Goldfields.

As a result of the commissioning, Focus completed its first significant gold pour from Three Mile Hill, which was refurbished at a cost of $16.96 million, on Wednesday, January 13.

Until now, Focus has been toll treating ore from its Tindals Mining Centre in Coolgardie at the nearby Greenfields mill.

The Three Mile Hill plant has an annual capacity of 1.2 million tonnes, enabling Focus to increase production to an expected 80,000oz this year and more than 100,000oz next year. Importantly, the Three Mile Hill plant will enable the Company to cut operating costs and benefit from a more consistent production profile.

Focus Chief Executive Campbell Baird said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in this fantastic achievement, particularly our Chief Operating Officer, Peter Williams, for his commitment and dedication in overseeing the project.”

In what was a landmark event for the Company, project manager Como Engineers completed the official handover of Three Mile Hill on Christmas eve and just eight months after work on the refurbishment started under a $16.96 million fixed-price contract.

Focus is also pleased to report that on January 7 it commenced a 35-day milling campaign at the Greenfields mill using a blend of Perseverance and Countess ore. In addition, strong progress is being made on a 110m-strike drive at the Mount Deposit, where over 3,000 tonnes of ore at better than 10g/t from development drives has already been trucked to Coolgardie.

Focus Chief Executive Campbell Baird said: “It is a demonstration of the strength of the Coolgardie operations that we are able to run two mills simultaneously for a period of over a month.

“The past year has proved to be a watershed for Focus, having successfully achieved progress on several fronts including expansion from one operating underground mine to three, completing an exploration decline and starting trial mining at The Mount. It also delivered into four toll milling campaigns at Greenfields and ramped up exploration with four drilling rigs actively drilling underground and on surface. With such a successful team the Company and investors have every reason to be confident about the outlook for 2010.”

Download full announcement – Focus Commissions Three Mile Hill treatement plant

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