Asante Gold’s plan to bring the Bibiani mine in Ghana into production in the September quarter of 2022 remain on track after mobilising a contractor to refurbish the process plant and made plans to upgrade its gravity gold recovery equipment.
The company acquired the mine earlier this year from Resolute Mining, embarking on a journey to return the former operating mine to its past glories.
In a market update, Asante said all activities for the restart were on track.
“Asante is preparing a plan to deliver a mine that can produce approximately 190,000 oz of gold at Bibiani in its first 12 months of operation and circa 240,000 oz every year thereafter for a minimum of six years,” it said.
Tenders have been invited for the selection of a mining contractor, with mobilisation of said contractor expected to proceed in the March quarter of 2022.
At the same time, the process plant refurbishment is slightly ahead of schedule and on budget, the company said.
Harlequin International has been contracted to complete the refurbishment engineering procurement and construction management (EPCM) and has mobilised as scheduled. The full EPCM team, plus requisite complement of tradespeople, is on site to provide training, safety and project delivery systems and resources needed to ensure achievement of a safe and productive work environment, the company said.
Asante explained: “All work activities are proceeding as planned. Principal equipment motors and drives have been taken off site, to be serviced as needed. Electrical components, instrumentation and control systems have been tested and are being upgraded as needed to provide improved performance, above the original design.”
The company said gravity recovery equipment was being upgraded to “2020 level” of competence and automation. This includes the purchase of a new high efficiency “6G Knelson concentrator” (from FLSmidth) and Gekko ILR (InLine Leach Reactor).
Sub-contractors have been engaged to proceed with sand blasting, metal and pipework repair, painting, installation of liners and belts, and to ensure safe and efficient operation, Asante said.
“Equipment that is on site but that was not fully installed by the former owners is in the process of being made ready for operation,” the company added. “As of the last week of October, there are more than 200 workers on site. To date the project remains on budget.”
In July 2018, Resolute Mining, based on some 50,500 m of drilling, released an updated feasibility study for Bibiani reporting JORC compliant resources of 21.7 Mt at 3.6 g/t for 2.5 Moz of gold.