Norway-listed Akobo Minerals’ efforts to develop the Segele gold mine, in Ethiopia, are progressing at pace with surface mining operations being under way and process plant parts having started to arrive on site.
The company reports that mining contractor IW Mining has made significant progress and reached a depth of 9 m in the incline shaft entrance, with only five additional meters depth needed to reach toe depth, where underground mining will begin.
The first blast is expected to be completed within days and the development of safety procedures is nearing completion.
Akobo also has a study underway to fast-track a newly discovered mineralisation zone into production, which may be a source of early revenue.
As the intensity of mining activities increases, IW Mining has started recruiting local staff and sourcing additional earthmoving equipment.
Akobo further reports that the gold processing plant design and fabrication process is very close to completion with only a few minor parts remaining.
Plant contractor Solo Resources has successfully navigated the challenging processes of timely shipping from South Africa, Canada, Australia and China. A total of 19 shipments are on their way to site of which five are being processed at Ethiopian customs and two have arrived at site.
Meanwhile, an Ethiopian civil engineering firm is in the process of completing geotechnical investigations and foundation designs for the processing plant.
Once the foundations are in place, construction and commissioning will be supervised by Solo Resources and Akobo Minerals. With that mind, Akobo has recruited an experienced processing plant specialist to lead the construction, commissioning and operation of the processing plant, Manie Nianaber.
He has experience of all the major equipment and systems used in the Segele process plant. Nienaber will train and lead a team of Ethiopian employees to first production in the near future.