Modern Mining

SEMAFO Inc, listed on the TSX, is continuing to make good progress on its new US$231 million Boungou mine in south-eastern Burkina Faso and announced on 20 December that the project was 75 % complete and remained on budget for commissioning in the third quarter of 2018.

Boungo Jan 2018The Boungou processing plant under construction (photo: SEMAFO).

As at November 30, 2017, over 90 % of the total concrete required had been poured and some 60 % of the structural steel and 30 % of the mechanical installation completed. Installation of the SAG mill was well advanced and the tailings storage facility was 60 % complete. Pre-stripping was continuing at the Boungou deposit with 8,3 million of the projected 18 million tonnes extracted. Approximately 1 832 personnel including contractors were employed on site and 3,3 million man-hours had been worked without a lost-time injury.

The EPCM contractor for the project is Lycopodium and the mining contractor African Mining Services (AMS), a subsidiary of Ausdrill Limited.

The Boungou deposit will mined from three distinct pits with mining taking place on 6 m benches. Haulage ramps will be 20 m-wide at a 10 % gradient. The open-pit reserve totals 9,6 Mt grading 4,14 g/t gold. A five-year mining contract has been signed with AMS, which will ultimately deploy a fleet that will include two Komatsu PC1250 excavators, two Komatsu PC2000 face shovels, and 13 Komatsu HD605 haul trucks. The ore will be treated in a 4 000 tonnes per day (t/d) CIP plant.

Boungou will have a mine life of plus seven years and will produce an average of plus 226 000 oz of gold annually during its first three years of production at a low AISC of US$374/oz. The payback period is estimated at 1,5 years.

Boungou will be SEMAFO’s second mine in Burkina Faso. Its first, Mana, is located 260 km south-west of Ouagadougou and is reportedly the third largest mine in the country. It has produced some 1,6 Moz since its first gold pour in 2008. The gold plant has been expanded four times since commissioning to a current capacity of over 7 200 t/d.

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