West African's production up by 40%

28th October 2020 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner West African Resources has reported a 40% increase in gold production for the three months to September, as ramp-up at its 90%-held Sanbrado operation, in Burkina Faso, continued.

Gold production in the September quarter was up to 45 338 oz, from the 33 028 oz poured in the June quarter, while gold sales nearly doubled from 22 221 oz to 44 184 oz in the same period.

West African on Wednesday reported that openpit mined ounces increased by 84% over the previous quarter, due to an increase in both ore tonnes and grade, while underground mined ounces increased by 16% over the previous quarter. First stoping ore from the M1 South underground mine was mined in late September.

Underground ore tonnage is expected to continue to ramp up during the fourth quarter of the year, as more levels are developed.

Meanwhile, West African reported that all-in sustaining costs for the quarter increased by 57% on the previous quarter, from A$39.8-million to A$62.3-million, reflecting the accounting treatment to capitalise costs incurred prior to the start of commercial production.

As commercial production was achieved in the second quarter, a significant portion of the costs were capitalized to ‘mines under construction’ during that quarter.

“The Sanbrado mine showed solid production improvements during the third quarter, while dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19, which is a credit to the commitment of our in-country team of staff and contractors,” said executive chairperson and CEO Richard Hyde.

“Restrictions around international travel and mandatory quarantine affected expatriate availability during the quarter, however, this is being addressed going forward with additional personnel added to manning rosters.”

Hyde said that further milestones are expected to be reached in the fourth quarter, with stope production ramping up at M1 South, continuing of deep drilling to extend underground reserves, and a resource and reserve and a ten-year production to be updated for the group late in the quarter.