SENET has completed the engineering assessment on an expanded output scenario at African Gold Group’s Kobada gold project, in southern Mali, which suggests throughput could exceed the definitive feasibility study target of 100,000 oz/y.
The assessment outlines a 3 Mt/y run of mine feed combined with a gravity circuit and a carbon-in-leach (CIL) section at Kobada, which has a global resource base of over 2.2 Moz of gold, African Gold Group says.
The positive result of the metallurgical test work, which confirmed the potential for consistent gold recovery of 96% across all ore types, up from 80% previously, has allowed SENET, a subsidiary of DRA Global, to design a plant offering the flexibility to treat all ore types from the Kobada gold project, the company said.
“Incorporating experience at other West African operations, the plant is designed with ease of construction and operation as a priority,” African Gold Group said. “The simplified flowsheet (which minimises the requirement for expensive and long lead process equipment) is expected to also reduce the construction schedule to roughly 18 months from 22 months. Overall power consumption is expected to be low given the soft nature of the ore at Kobada.”
Danny Callow, Chief Operating Officer of the company, said: “Our flexible and robust oxide processing plant requires low power and uses proven technology able to treat our blend of saprolites and laterites. Our gravity and CIL process provides a 96% recovery of gold with low reagent consumption and low power requirement. All of these components contribute to a low all in sustaining cost and competitive capital cost.”
He added: “At current gold prices, we are keen to advance this project to construction as soon as possible.”
Some of the time saving mentioned by Callow is due to SENET having completed a significant amount of the detailed engineering on the Kobada process plant, as well as identifying international suppliers able to provide the capital equipment in the shortest possible timeframe, the company said.
Hugo Swart, Operations Director of SENET, said: “The positive results out of the test work program has allowed SENET to complete the front end engineering design for the entire plant. SENET has furthermore progressed large sections of the plant to a point of detailed engineering stage.
“The progress we have made in the last few months will no doubt allow African Gold Group to develop the project rapidly. We are also exceptionally pleased that we were able to complete this work on time and significantly under budget given the challenging circumstances of COVID-19.”
The update forms a major part of the DFS, which is expected to be delivered this quarter.