"Following the recent commissioning process and the start of production at the company's Premier Mine, the exercise of these options by Jim demonstrates full confidence in the company and shows great support for the company's future growth and plans," managing director David Mendelawitz said.
Williams' options had vested against the company reaching the milestones of completing a positive feasibility study for the Premier Gold Mine and successful commissioning of the production plant at the mine.
Cleveland plans to start a new drilling campaign at the Premier Mine to expand its gold inventory along strike and along the same structural trend from Anglogold Ashanti's (NYSE: AU) Serra Grande Mine, which is located less than 1 kilometre away.
Over 5 million ounces of gold have been defined at Serra Grande and the same rock types and structures continue into Cleveland's tenements.
The company is also planning to start drilling at its 100% owned Mara Rosa project, which is around 100 kilometres from Premier and adjacent to Amarillo Gold corps 1.2 million ounce Posse deposit.
The Phase 1 gravity plant at the Premier Gold Mine is currently operating at up to 40 tonnes per hour with Cleveland working on Phase 2, which will increase throughput to 80 tonnes per hour and improve recoveries by adding a CIL circuit and second ball mill.
Phase 2 is expected to produce about 40,000 ounces of gold per annum from 2013.
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