Modern Mining: Featured News

TSX-listed SEMAFO Inc has announced that commissioning of the process plant at its Boungou gold mine in Burkina Faso is underway, with the first gold pour expected in June, slightly ahead of schedule. Development of the mine is on budget with (as of mid-May) US$202 million of the US$231 million capital expenditure incurred.

Located 320 km from the capital, Ouagadougou, in the south-east of the country, Boungou will be 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.

Bongou nears production

This photo shows the processing plant, which will have a capacity of 4 000 tonnes/day, at an advanced stage of construction.

The plant has been built by EPCM contractor Lycopodium while the mining contractor is African Mining Services (AMS), a subsidiary of Ausdrill Limited. Thus far, 5,2 million man hours (515 days) have been worked on the project without a lost-time injury. According to SEMAFO, up to 1 480 personnel including contractors have been employed on site during construction. Demobilisation of construction and contract personnel has now commenced.

As of mid-May, pre-stripping of the pit area was 87 % complete with 15,6 Mt of the projected 18 Mt extracted. Some 70 000 tonnes of low-grade ore had been stockpiled on the ROM pad. Construction of the process plant was 100 % complete with the crushing circuit, Vertmill, pre-leach and tailings thickeners, leaching/CIP circuit and water services already commissioned.

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‚Äôs second mine in Burkina Faso. Its first, Mana, is located 260 km south-west of Ouagadougou 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.

Photos courtesy of SEMAFO.

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