Ausdrill, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, African Mining Services (AMS), has been selected by West African Resources as the preferred open-pit mining contractor for the Sanbrado gold project, in Burkina Faso.
Sanbrado, a low-cost, high-grade operation only 90 km from the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, will be the 14th commercial gold mine in Burkina Faso in 14 years. It is forecast to have average annual production of 217,000 oz/y of gold at all-in sustaining costs of less than $600/oz in its first five years of mine life.
The AMS scope of work includes a full suite of open pit mining services – including site preparation, drill and blast, load and haul, and maintenance works – over a five-year term, generating approximately A$235 million ($160 million) in revenue under a schedule of rates contract, Ausdrill said.
AMS anticipates it will employ some 190 personnel at the project, with the workforce to be predominantly local, and use a mix of new and existing equipment to deliver on the project.
AMS and West African Resources are in the process of finalising the contract terms, which will include the provision of an optional deferred payment arrangement for up to $10 million at a commercial interest rate, with works expected to commence in early 2020. West African Resources said mobilisation activities were expected to commence in November, ahead of open-pit mining commencement in January 2020.
Ausdrill Group Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “A key focus for the new Ausdrill group has been to enhance our surface operations in Africa and target substantial growth opportunities across a range of commodities in select African countries.
“Being selected as preferred contractor at the Sanbrado gold project is a significant achievement and represents the excellent progress we are making in building on the suite of quality projects on which AMS operates in the region.”
West African Resources Managing Director, Richard Hyde, said: “Sanbrado is the highest margin gold project in construction in West Africa and we are on target for approximately 300,000 oz of gold in the first 12 months of production. We look forward to partnering with AMS to bring this fully funded project into production in mid-2020.”