Syama to come back?

Resolute Mining has signed a letter of intent with GRDMinproc, to undertake EPCM services for the redevelopment of the Syama Gold Mine in Mali. After a validation visit to Syama in early July, key personnel from GRDMinproc’s Johannesburg office will relocate to Perth to commence the detailed design and initial procurement activities for the Project.

Resolute comments that “GRDMinproc together with the Resolute owners team bring an extensive mix of Australian and African design and implementation experience which will ensure the delivery of the redeveloped project in a timely and cost effective manner.”

The Syama gold project is in the south of Mali, some 30 km from the Côte d’Ivoire border and 300 km south-east of the capital Bamako. Resolute has an 80% interest in the project through its Malian subsidiary, Soc des Mines de Syama (SOMISY). The Malian Government holds a free carried 20% interest in SOMISY.

Syama was established by BHP in 1990 as an oxide operation and in 1994 the decision was made to build a primary ore processing facility to treat the hard,
refractory ore based on ‘whole of ore’ roasting. It was operated by BHP until 1996 and by Randgold from 1996 to 2001. Both operators were unable to achieve a sustainable operation based on that roasting technology and Randgold placed the operation on care and maintenance in 2001.

Resolute acquired the project in April 2004 based on the positive conclusions of a pre-feasibility study, and completed a Feasibility Study in April 2005. This study shows positive returns based on a modified flow sheet that processes a sulphide concentrate through the roasting circuit. The single pit operation currently has a six to seven year mine life with potential to increase reserves by development of an underground operation or by the discovery of new resources. The current estimate of total reserves (Measured, Indicated and Inferred) is 66,579,779 Mt at 3 g/t Au, using a 1 g/t cutoff.

The design treatment rate of primary ore is 2.4 Mt/y at a mill feed grade of 4 g/t Au. The key process steps are:
• Three-stage crushing
• Calcine quench and filtration to remove magnesium
• Two-stage milling
• CIL (Carbon in leach) gold recovery
• Sulphide flotation
• Wet gas SO2 gas scrubbing using flotation tailings
• Concentrate roast
• Standby filtration in the event that concentrates need to be dewatered to ensure auto-thermal operation.