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West African on track to meet full-year guidance following solid first quarter

24th April 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Unhedged gold mining company West African Resources’ Sanbrado mine, in Burkina Faso, produced 56 595 oz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1 291/oz in the first quarter of this year.

The company says it is tracking well to achieve full-year guidance of 190 000 oz to 210 000 oz at an AISC of less than $1 300/oz.

West African sold 49 509 oz of gold at an average realised price of $2 078/oz in the first quarter, while bullion awaiting settlement at the end of the quarter increased by 8 982 oz to 12 126 oz.

The company remains fully unhedged.

Cash flow from operating activities was A$41-million after A$19-million of income tax instalments.

The miner held A$342-million in cash and A$41-million in unsold gold bullion as at March 31.

There was a $150-million drawdown under the $265-million secured loan facility with Sprott and Coris.

Meanwhile, West African says construction at the Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso is progressing on schedule and budget, with A$61-million in capital expenditure invested in the quarter.

The Toega gold deposit mining permit was approved, with production from this deposit expected to start in the second half of 2025.

West African also reported high-grade results from diamond drilling at the M1 South northern shoot.

On January 28, a contractor working at Kiaka was fatally injured. No other persons were injured in the incident.

Objectives for the June quarter include completing the M1 South exploration drill drive and starting the M5 exploration drill drive; reporting drilling results from programmes at M1 South (main and northern shoot) and Kiaka grade control; and maintaining Kiaka construction on schedule and budget.

“Sanbrado delivered another solid quarter of low-cost gold production and West African is on track to achieve guidance of 190 000 oz/y to 210 000 oz/y of gold at an AISC of less than $1 300/oz.

“Drilling results at M1 South underground in the quarter have confirmed the potential for an additional mining area that we are working to bring into the mining plan this year,” says CEO and executive chairperson Richard Hyde.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of a contractor in January this year. We have been working with the relevant authorities and the contracting companies involved to investigate the incident and diligently address the causal factors. Safety is of the utmost importance at West African and we will learn from this incident and continue to improve all aspects of safety across our business.

“Construction of Kiaka remains on track for first gold to be poured in the third quarter of 2025, when West African will become a 400 000 oz/y-plus gold producer,” he adds. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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