The initial mining fleet has arrived at Fortuna Silver Mines’ Séguéla gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, ahead of planned commissioning in the June quarter, the company has confirmed.
The overall project is approximately 90% complete as of the end of January and remains on-track and on-budget for first gold pour in mid-2023, the company said.
Among the initial fleet are Cat haul trucks, an excavator, dozer and other ancillary equipment. The company says the next tranche of mining equipment is on-schedule for late-February availability. This includes a Cat 6020B 230 ton (224 t) hydraulic excavator, which is delivered and being assembled on-site; four Cat 777E haul trucks being assembled in Abidjan; one 50 ton excavator for rock-breaker, which has a hammer already on-site; one Cat D9 dozer; and two Cat 988 wheel loaders for crusher feed.
Mota-Engil, the mining contractor, has established its temporary facilities on site to support initial mining activities with construction of the permanent mining services area infrastructure progressing well.
With the completion of construction rapidly approaching, operational readiness has increasingly become the focus in preparation for commissioning of the 3,750 t/d processing plant, which is due to commence early in the June quarter of 2023. As a result of the dedicated efforts of the Séguéla management and site teams, the project is well positioned for this transition, which also represents a significant milestone for the company, it said.
David Whittle, Chief Operating Officer – West Africa, said: “Construction activities are nearing completion despite worldwide supply chain challenges. We are pleased to report commissioning remains on schedule for Q2 (June quarter) 2023. Our operational teams are being assembled with an experienced core leadership group already hired and preparing for first gold production. This will mark a significant milestone for Fortuna with Séguéla also exhibiting growth potential given the quantity of inferred resources and the exploration success on the property to date.”
Séguéla has a nine year mine life in reserves, with the initial six years expected to report 133,000 oz/y of gold production.