Modern Mining

Canada’s Teranga Gold Corporation, listed on the TSX and ASX, has produced a positive Feasibility Study (FS) on its permitted Banfora gold project in Burkina Faso, which it acquired last year as part of its acquisition of Australia’s Gryphon Minerals. Based on initial gold reserves of 1,2 Moz, the FS’s base case demonstrates solid project economics with a 15 % internal rate of return at US$1 250 per ounce gold for a 2,4 Mt/a CIL processing facility modelled after the plant located at Teranga’s Sabodala gold operation in Senegal.

The project, located in the south-west corner of Burkina Faso, comprises a mine licence of 89 km2, and a regional exploration land package of nearly 1 000 km2.

Banfora FS demonstrates solid project economicsDrilling at the Banfora gold project

(photo: Teranga).

The project is 90 % owned by Teranga with the Government of Burkina Faso holding a 10 % free carried interest. It is easily accessible by road and is in close proximity to the regional town of Banfora and the major city of Bobo-Dioulasso.

“Development of the Banfora project is an important step towards attaining our goal of becoming the next multi-asset, mid-tier gold producer in West Africa. It will diversify our production base and add significant scale by increasing our consolidated annual gold production by 50 % to between 300 000 and 350 000 ounces,” stated Richard Young, President and CEO of Teranga.

As detailed in the FS, the mine will have an average annual production of 131 koz over a nine-year mine life at an average all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$843/oz.

Teranga expects an improvement in the project’s economics following completion of an infill drill programme aimed at converting inferred resources to reserves to be completed later this year, with a reserve update expected in the first half of 2018.

The initial gold reserves are derived from four deposits (Nogbele, Fourkoura, Samavogo, and Stinger) within the Banfora mine licence and are anticipated to increase in the near term based on significant potential within existing resource shells.

Mining will be by way of conventional open-pit mining techniques using drill and blast with material movement by hydraulic excavators and trucks. The project scale suits 110- to 140-tonne class excavators in a backhoe configuration matched to 50-tonne class mining haul trucks operating at 5 m bench heights.

Following operating procedures similar to Sabodala, an extensive reverse circulation (RC) drill programme is planned to supplement the production blast hole sampling as part of the grade control strategy. The mine operations will emulate Sabodala, with multiple near-surface pits feeding the process plant.

The process plant design is based on a conventional CIL gold process flowsheet consisting of primary crushing, SAG and ball milling, with a pebble crusher, CIL tanks, elution, electro-winning and gold smelting to produce doré onsite. Throughput is expected to range between 2,2 and 2,5 Mt/a, depending on the blend of soft and hard ore. The average predicted plant recovery is 92 %, with soft material recoveries from some zones reaching as high as 95 %.

A construction readiness programme is underway for initial engineering, site infrastructure and preparation of large vendor packages. The engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) scope is currently in a tender process amongst several EPCM service providers with construction experience in West Africa and Burkina Faso. An award decision is expected shortly. Plant construction is expected to commence in Q2 2018, with the first gold pour following within approximately 18 months of the construction start date.

Contact Modern Mining

Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Bennie Venter
Email: benniev@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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