PERTH (miningweekly.com) – An updated feasibility study (FS) into the Sanbrado gold project, in Burkina Faso, has increased the project’s production expectations and the mine life, owner West African Resources reported on Friday.
Sanbrado is expected to produce an average of 211 000 oz/y of gold over the first five years of operation, with production averaging 133 000 oz/y over the 11-year life of mine.
The production estimate was up from the original 2017 feasibility study, which estimated that the Sanbrado project would produce about 93 000 oz/y over a nine-year mine life, producing 150 000 oz/y over the first three years of operation.
Life of mine recoveries have increased from an estimated 810 000 oz to 1.46-million ounces of gold.
The project’s estimated capital costs also increased, from the $131-million estimated in the original FS, to $185-million; however, the post tax net present value rose from $100-million to $405-million, while the post tax internal rate of return increased from 21% to 49%.
All-in sustaining costs for the life of the mine are estimated at $640/oz in the updated FS, compared with the original estimate of $759/oz.
The updated FS included a 76% increase in the probable ore reserve at Sanbrado, which is now estimated at 1.6-million ounce, and a 40% increase in the indicated resource at the M1 South deposit, which is estimated at 78 000 oz of gold.
The project is estimated to have a mineral resource of 2.35-million ounces of gold in the indicated category, and 0.55-million ounces in the inferred category.
West African MD Richard Hyde said that the updated FS confirmed that Sanbrado was a robust, hig- margin gold project.
He added that substantial upside also existed at Sanbrado, revealed by the recent high-grade intercepts beneath the reserves, which showed scope to extend the life of the M1 South deposit past four-and-a-half years.
A scoping study has also started to focus on the underground potential of the M5 deposit, while drilling at M1 South and M5 will be ongoing, with further resource and reserve updates expected by year-end.
In the meantime, Hyde said that discussions with project financiers were also under way, and the company was hoping to appoint a banking syndicate by the fourth quarter of this year.