West African Resources Limited is heading towards construction at its 90%-owned Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, having registered strong funding interest, awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract and booked the mill package for the development.
Kiaka, an asset with 7.7 Moz of reserves and resources on its books, is the company’s second gold mine in the country on top of its operating Sanbrado asset.
WAF’s feasibility study, released in August 2022, outlined pre-production capital costs of $430 million and a 2.5-year pre-tax pay back at a $1,750/oz gold price for the project. Kiaka was expected to operate over an 18.5-year life of mine, producing, on average, 219,000 oz/y of gold (on a 100% basis).
West African Executive Chairman, Richard Hyde, said strong competitive bids from its debt finance process supported the company’s targeted debt of $300 million for the project.
In the meantime, WAF has signed a notice of award with Lycopodium based on the engineering company’s priced proposal for the EPCM of a new carbon-in-leach treatment plant for Kiaka. This award incorporated Lycopodium’s early commencement of the engineering and procurement portion of the contract to complete the engineering and tendering of the long-lead mill package.
Lycopodium was also the contractor on the Sanbrado construction project.
In line with this, Lycopodium and WAF have undertaken a competitive tender process for the supply and delivery of the SAG and ball mill package for Kiaka.
Following the evaluation of tenders, the company selected Metso Outotec to supply the 18 MW SAG mill and 9 MW ball mill. Metso Outotec also provided the SAG and ball mills at Sanbrado (construction of the comminution circuit, pictured). WAF has signed the order with Mesto Outotec, which contains a firm pricing and delivery schedule for the mill package components that fits well into the Kiaka construction schedule, it said.
The mining company says it has mobilised earthworks equipment to the Kiaka project site. The initial areas to be cleared include the permanent camp area and the process plant area. Access road upgrades are also planned to be undertaken during the current dry season.
The construction schedule for Kiaka remains on track, with major works expected to commence in the March quarter and first gold in 2025.
WAF says it also remains on target to meet 2022 production and cost guidance of 220,000-240,000 oz of gold produced at an all-in sustaining cost of less than $1,100/oz.