Modern Mining

Thor Explorations, listed on the TSX-V, has announce positive results for its independent Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) and maiden probable mineral reserve for its 100 %-owned Segilola gold project in Nigeria.

The project is located in Osun State in south-western Nigeria approximately 120 km from Lagos. High grade gold mineralisation is developed within Upper Proterozoic gneissic and schist sequences that are oriented parallel to the boundary between the West African Craton and the Pan African province. At Segilola, gold mineralisation extends from surface to a depth of up to 300 m down dip over a strike length of 2 km. The project area is served by good infrastructure that includes a sealed road to the proposed development site.

Segilola will comprise an open-pit mine served by a new 500 000 t/a processing plant, which consists of a conventional crushing circuit, single stage grinding, CIL, elution, electrowinning and smelting to produce gold doré. The PFS envisions a project with a 17-month construction period and a seven-year mine life. The mine will produce an average of 81 000 oz/a in years 1 to 3 and 47 000 oz/a in years 4 to 7. Pre-production capex is estimated at US$71,4 million.

“The Segilola project benefits from many strong characteristics, including its high grade nature together with excellent metallurgy and attractive government fiscal incentives,” comments Segun Lawson, President and CEO of Thor. “This results in robust cashflows from commencement of operations and relatively low capital intensity. We are pleased with the results outlined in the Preliminary Feasibility Study which validates our belief in the potential of the project.

“We believe scope exists to improve the project economics as we continue to optimise and de-risk the project through the Definitive Feasibility Study phase, which we aim to complete in H1 2018 and to then progress directly to project development. The project has significant exploration upside that can potentially both add to our open-pit production and extend the life of mine as we continue to explore and assess the potential for a transition to underground mining operations.”

The mine is to be developed in three stages, incorporating two interim stage pits. Mining operations will be carried out using conventional drill-and-blast and load-and-haul mining methods with 3,5 Mt of ore and 62,0 Mt of waste being extracted over a period of seven years

A detailed mining schedule has been developed that requires minimal pre-stripping prior to plant commissioning. Production will initially commence from the high grade northern pit, which outcrops at surface. Along with the Stage 2 pit, which commences after four months, it will return an average head grade of approximately 7,0 g/t for the first 15 months of operation. Stage 3 commences in month 32 with a cutback of the southern wall of the Stage 2 pit to the final pit design.

The company intends to engage an experienced mining contractor for the drill, blast, load and haul operations.

ROM ore will be delivered from the mine to the processing plant, which includes a conventional crushing circuit and a single stage grinding circuit to achieve a target grind size P80 of 106 microns. The plant will operate on a 365 day/year, 24 hour/day operating cycle with a design plant availability of 91,3 % for a nominal ore throughput of 62,5 t/h.

Life of mine average gold recovery is estimated to be 96 % resulting in life of mine production of 430 100 ounces from the currently stated probable reserves.

Electrical power will be generated on site by the use of diesel-powered generators. Three 1,6 MW generating sets will be installed and operated on a two duty, one standby basis.

The treatment of the ore will result in the production of approximately 500 000 tonnes of tailings per annum. The tailings will be pumped as a slurry to a tailings storage facility (TSF). The TSF will comprise single circular storage with an area of 24,6 ha.

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