The company said the Hollister mine produced 26,045 ounces of gold equivalent during the third quarter ending September 30, down three percent compared to 26,757 ounces of gold equivalent in the previous second quarter.
However, ore mined from the project increased five percent to 26,474 tonnes, while the Esmeralda mill processed 29,869 tonnes, a 34 percent increase over the second quarter.
As expected, the contained grade of the ore was 0.9 ounces per tonne (oz/t) of gold equivalent, lower than the 1.35 oz/t from the previous quarter. However, Great Basin said it is in-line with the reserve grade of the Hollister ore body.
Gold and silver recoveries at the Esmeralda mill remain within the company's targeted levels, at 92% for gold and 74% for silver.
The company sold 22,790 ounces of gold equivalent during the quarter, down 34 percent from the 34,522 ounces of gold equivalent it sold in the second quarter. Still, Great Basin said that 6,850 ounces remain at the refiner to be sold, with these sales to be recorded in the fourth quarter.
Great Basin also announced that the acid wash and carbon regeneration systems at the mill were successfully installed during the first week of October. The company plans to pour the doré at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, at its Burnstone operations in South Africa, mechanized ore development increased by 80 percent, to 2,786 metres. The ore to waste development ratio also improved, with ore representing 67 percent of total development during the quarter, compared to 45 percent in the prior quarter, Great Basin said.
The company expects to continue its optimization operations, including an increase in infill and cover drilling, in order to identify geological structures and faulting, improve geological data, and refine interpretations. Following these developments, waste development was reduced by 25 percent to 1,403 metres.
Great Basin also said it continues to optimize its Long Hole Stoping mining method, with a revised stope layout design. The revised design, which is still in its trial phase, has increased the square metres available for stoping by 88 percent, to over 17 square metres.
Contained gold from this stoped material increased 39 percent to 3.57 grams per tonne (g/t) gold during the latest quarter, compared to the 2.57 g/t gold in the second quarter. The contained gold grade from development ore also increased to 0.8 g/t, up 25 percent.
Stope block availability will increase steadily during the fourth quarter, Great Basin said.
The metallurgical plant at Burnstone continues to perform in line with expectations. It processed 209,224 tonnes of ore during the quarter, up over three percent. Gold recovery increased by 33 percent to 6,486 ounces of the yellow metal, with the company selling 6,518 ounces of gold during the period.
President and CEO, Ferdi Dippenaar, commented: "The Nevada operations continue to build momentum in delivering improved quarter on quarter operational results as evident from the Q3 2011 performance. At Burnstone, production is increasing but remains behind schedule.
"Although the initial production build up is important for cash flow purposes, the decision to change the underground stope layouts will impact on the short term availability of mining areas, but is expected to result in a number of positive benefits over the longer term exploitation of the ore body.
"We believe that our decision to utilize mechanized mining as the preferred mining method at Burnstone was the correct one, with the results starting to support this."