Semafo’s Boungou well on track with Vertimill installed and SAG mill erection by year end

Semafo’s Boungou is a high grade gold project acquired in 2015 and will have been taken from a scoping study to production in only three years. The deposit is located in the Est region in southeastern Burkina Faso. Construction is well underway with first gold pour scheduled for the third quarter of 2018.

It has maiden open pit mineral reserves of 9.6 Mt at a grade of 4.15 g/t Au for 1,276,000 oz of gold. The deposit will be mined from three distinct pits, approximately 580 to 1,800 m long, 300 to 500 m wide, 50 to 80 m deep and 50 to 100 m apart. Haulage ramps will be 20 m wide at a 10% gradient and mining will take place on 6 m benches with ore loss of 5% and dilution of 18%.

A five year mining contract has been signed with African Mining Services (AMS). The fleet includes two Komatsu PC1250 excavators for ore mining (day shift) and waste mining (night shift), two Komatsu PC2000 (face shovel) excavators for waste mining, 13 Komatsu HD605 63 t haul trucks for hauling of ore and waste, two Cat D8 dozers, a Cat 834 wheel dozer and a Cat 16 grader for ancillary work. A water truck (45,000 litres) will be used for dust suppression. Six Atlas Copco DM25 drills are to be used for production drilling plus a Cat MD5150C pre-split drill and a Komatsu WA600 wheel loader for ROM stockpile work.

In October 2017, construction continued in line with expectations. At the deposit, some 6.6 of the 18 Mt of pre-stripping material had been extracted by month end. Some 90% of the total concrete pour was effected, with 40% of structural steel and 20% of mechanical installation completed. Installation of the SAG mill is ongoing for expected completion in December 2017. Erection of leach tanks is fully complete, and more than 60% of the power plant construction had already been carried out by end October. In the month, the final elevation of the water storage facility embankment was made, and phase 1 of the tailings storage facility halfway completed. Ancillary and plant buildings are advancing well, with the majority scheduled for completion by year-end.

September 2017 saw the installation of the Metso Vertimill and delivery of most major long-lead items on site: the primary crusher, SAG mill shell and power plant gensets, as well as erection of structural steel in the pebble crusher, reagent storage, reclaim, grinding, workshop and pipe rack areas.

The 2017 budget of $15 million included a provision of $8.5 million for an infill drill program designed to convert current inferred resources on the West and East Flank Sectors into the indicated category and $1.3 million, which has been earmarked for completing studies in order to evaluate a potential underground operation. The remainder of the program involves exploration drilling on both proximal and contiguous permits to the Boungou deposit.