UPDATE 9.05am: Regis Resources shares came under heavy selling pressure again today after the company said its Garden Well operation had again fallen short of production targets in the December quarter.
At 9am, Regis shares were off 22.5 cents, or 7.76 per cent, to $2.675 after toppling 17 cents yesterday.
Regis said it produced just 37,200 ounces of gold from the mine during the December quarter, well short of the predicted 40,000oz to 45,000oz.
Long seen by analysts as one of the most reliable Australian gold producers, Regis has struggled with the ramp-up of Garden Well. After first gold was poured in September 2012, Regis was talking up production of 130,000oz to 140,000oz for the first half of 2013 and annual life-of-mine output of 200,000oz a year.
Successive downgrades followed thanks to lower-than- expected mining grades and problems with gold recovery rates at the processing plant.
Regis yesterday again lowered its forecasts at the mine, saying problems with the ore fed from its Rosemont operation from October had impacted on gold recovery rates.
Although Regis said it had completed modifications on the processing facility in November, it still lowered production targets from Garden Well to 80,000oz to 90,000oz for the June 2014 half-year, down from earlier guidance of 96,000oz to 103,000oz.
Regis said the lower rates were due to the "interim configuration" of Garden Well's processing facility, likely to remain until the second stage of Rosemont comes on line in the third quarter.
Regis' Moolart Well gold mine produced 26,506oz in the December quarter against a predicted annual rate of 95,000 to 105,000oz. It did not release its average production costs, saying full details would follow later this month.