Production at Jacobina was 30,319 ounces of gold in the first quarter, an increase of 21% from production of 25,022 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2010. Higher production was mainly due to increased volume of ore mined and ore processed accompanied by improved grade and recovery rate.
The recovery rate at Jacobina for the first quarter was 93.5% compared to 91.9% for the first quarter of 2010. This is the result of the Company's effort to modify the leaching cycle to improve recoveries which have trended upwards since the start-up of higher throughput levels. Gold grade for the quarter averaged 1.91 g/t also showing a 10% improvement over 1.73 g/t for the first quarter of 2010.
Production at Jacobina for 2011 is expected to be in line with guidance. Given the positive upward trend in production and the significant increase in mineral reserve grade, the Company will evaluate opportunities to increase production levels in 2011.
Cash costs averaged
$611 per ounce of gold for the first quarter compared with
$687 per ounce of gold in the first quarter of 2010, representing a quarter-over-quarter improvement of 11%. Cash costs progressively improved throughout the first quarter. The Company completed the first quarter with cash costs of
$606 per ounce of gold in March, presenting a cost trend consistent with that of the prior year.
Fazenda Brasileiro, Brazil
The Fazenda Brasileiro mine produced 11,252 ounces of gold in the quarter ended March 31, 2011. This compares to 14,738 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2010. Cash costs for the first quarter were $968 per ounce compared with $622 per ounce for the same period in 2010.