ASX/TSX-listed Cardinal Resources is expected to finalise the Feasibility Study for its Namdini project in Ghana in the September quarter.
This will be done with test work being incorporated into the study potentially improving gold recoveries, operational and capital costs.
"The probability of us improving our economics is high," CE and MD Archie Koimtsidis said on the sidelines of the Noosa Mining & Exploration Investor Conference.
Political stability in Ghana has made the country one of the most attractive new mining investment areas in Africa.
Gold majors including Newmont Mining Corporation, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Kinross, have been joined on the ground by companies such as Golden Star Resources, Asanko Gold, Perseus Mining, Azumah Resources and African Gold Group, to name a few.
World Gold Council figures show Ghana produced 130.5 tonnes of gold in 2018, ranking it number 8 in the world.
The Namdini feasibility study will also incorporate more than 2 years of laboratory test work results from the Aache process equipment.
Simply put, the process, employed by Randgold and others, scours the ore material before entering the leach tanks in a cleansing and pre-oxidising process, reducing operating expenditure by negating extra costs due to variable grind sizes.
Power and other costs are also lowered in the process.
"Testing has shown that we can coursen our grind sizes and benefit on power savings and reagents, which culminates in operational savings across the entire production profile with greater gold recoveries," Koimtsidis said.
Namdini's pre-feasibility study was modelled on a maiden ore reserve of 4.76 million ounces and put development capex at US$414 million. It proposes that Cardinal develops a starter pit at the northern end of its reserve to produce 900,000 ounces of gold over the first 2 - 3 years of the mine life.
All-in sustaining costs were estimated at US$599 per ounce for this period. The overall life-of-mine forecast to produce 3.975 million ounces over a 14-year mine life.
“If we pick up extra ounces per annum using the Aache process, we will take them all day long but the potential savings on processing costs across the entire life of mine production profile of approximately 300,000 ounces per annum is what we are also looking forward to," he said.
Pending the final feasibility results, Koimtsidis said Project Financing could be in place by the end of calendar 2019 and first gold produced by the second half of 2022.