JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The ball mill shell has been successfully installed at Aim-listed Hummingbird Resources’ flagship Yanfolila project, in Mali, which remains on schedule and on budget for the first gold pour by the end of this year.
The installation is a significant milestone in progressing the project to production, with the ball mill having arrived on site in May, the company reported in its unaudited interim results for the six months ended June 30, on Wednesday.
Operational highlights, following the period under review, include the start of preproduction mining by contractor African Mining Services, last month. With operations to ramp up over the next three months, Hummingbird expects more than three-million tonnes to have been moved by the end of November.
The Yanfolila gold project has a probable reserve of 709 800 oz at 3.14 g/t and total resources of 1.8-million ounces of gold. The project also has an additional 390 700 oz of noncompliant exploration potential.
The high-grade gold project has low operating costs at an all-in sustaining cost of $695/oz. Yanfolila is expected to produce 132 000 oz in the first full year of operations.
Hummingbird has also increased its ownership in the project to 80% from 75%, after it acquired a further 5% interest and a 1% royalty from La Petite Mine d'Or for $1-million, respectively, during the period under review.
Hummingbird will pay La Petite Mine d'Or $2-million in shares, which are to be issued by March 31, 2018.
Further, the government of Mali is expected to pay Hummingbird $11-million for an additional 10% stake in Yanfolila. This will increase the government’s shareholding in the project to 20%.
Meanwhile, Hummingbird has fully drawn down the $60-million debt facility, which the company entered into with West Africa-based Coris Bank International Group in April.
Hummingbird had a cash balance of about $60-million as at September 1.