International gold mining company Golden Star Resources (NYSE Amex: GSS) lowered its 2010 production guidance Tuesday for its Bogoso/Prestea gold mine in Ghana to between 170,000-172,000 ounces of gold.
This was revised from the company's previous estimate of 185,000 ounces of gold. Golden Star's guidance for its Wassa/HBB property in Ghana was also lowered slightly to 182,000 ounces of gold from the prior 185,000 ounce forecast.
The company said that ore deliveries to the Bogoso sulfide processing mill have been impacted by pit de-watering and access issues, made worse by higher than normal rainfall.
This means that a larger proportion of mill feed consisted of partially-oxidized transitional stockpile material, which resulted in lower flotation recovery.
Ore delivery issues have now been resolved and Golden Star expects that metallurgical recovery will improve during 2011 as the company accesses deeper, more sulfidic ores at the Chujah and Bogoso North pits.
"We are obviously very disappointed with the 2010 production shortfalls. Wassa is operating well and we are working hard to return our Bogoso operations to acceptable levels," said president and CEO Tom Mair.
Separately, the company said that its power rates have been increased to approximately $0.15 per kilowatt-hour, resulting in a fourth quarter charge of around $3.2 million at Bogoso/Prestea and a $1.3 million cost at Wassa/HBB.
Aside from its Bogoso and Wassa properties, Golden Star has an 81% interest in the currently inactive Prestea Underground mine in Ghana, as well as gold exploration interests elsewhere in Ghana, in other parts of West Africa, and in Brazil.