Following the successful installtion of the ball mill shell at emerging gold miner Hummingbird Resources’ flagship Yanfolila project, in Mali, the operation remains within budget and on schedule 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, last month.
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.
During the first phase of mining, there will be areas of free dig material, as well as material that will require light blasting. The blasting will employ nonelectric down-hole detonators with ammonium nitrate, fuel oil for dry holes and emulsion explosives for wet holes. Explosives manufacturer and distributor AEL Mining Services will supply and store the explosives for the mining contractor.
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 operation.
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, 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 government’s shareholding in the project to 20%.