Modern Mining

TSX-listed SEMAFO Inc reports that it has completed its first gold pour at the Boungou mine in Burkina Faso, slightly ahead of the original schedule. The first pour yielded approximately 325 ounces of gold.

Dry and wet commissioning of the Boungou processing plant are now complete, as is its construction. The vertimill and SAG mill are working according to design and have achieved the designed hourly throughput and grind size. Commercial production is expected in August.

Pictured with the first gold bar are (from left) Mahamadou Traoré, Chief Metallurgist; Gilles Ferlatt, General Manager; Abramane Compaoré, Refiner; and Herman Tapsoba, Metallurgist (photo: SEMAFO).

“The first gold pour at Boungou marks an important milestone in SEMAFO’s growth trajectory as it signals the beginning of a significant increase in production and cash flow,” said Benoit Desormeaux, President and CEO of SEMAFO. “This achievement reflects a true team effort that involved the hard work and commitment of our in-house construction team and external contractors, combined with the strong support of our local communities. This major milestone was achieved while maintaining an exceptional safety record of 5,5 million hours without lost-time injury.”

At the end of May 2018, 17,2 million of the projected 18 million tonnes of pre-strip had been completed at Boungou and approximately 172 000 tonnes of ore had been stockpiled for future processing, in line with expectations.

Located 320 km from the capital, Ougadougou, in the south-east of the country, Boungou is a high-grade open-pit mine with the processing facility consisting of a 4 000 tonnes per day CIP plant. SEMAFO says it is targeting an average annual production of 204 000 ounces over the five-year period from 2019 to 2023 at an average all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$514/oz. Total mine life on current reserves is eight years.

The plant has been built by EPCM contractor Lycopodium while the mining contractor is African Mining Services (AMC), a subsidiary of Ausdrill Limited. T

The Boungou permit lies within the Diapaga greenstone belt, a northeast-southwest orientated belt that extends over 250 km in length and over 50 km in width. The mineralisation of the deposit is predominantly hosted in a silicified shear zone and a significant quantity of the gold occurs as visible gold. Sulphide minerals comprise pyrrhotite, pyrite, and minor arsenopyrite and chalcopyrite.

According to the Feasibility Study (FS), approximately 139 Mt of material will be mined from the open pit over the projected mine life. This will deliver 9,6 Mt of ore to the milling facility with an average head-grade of 4,15 g/t Au and generate 130 Mt of waste material (13,6:1 stripping ratio).

Boungou will be SEMAFO’s second mine in Burkina Faso. Its first, Mana, is located 260 tm south-west of Ougadougou and produced 206 400 ounces in 2017. The gold plant has been expanded four times since commissioning in 2008 to a current capacity of over 7 200 tonnes per day.

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Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
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