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TSX-listed Roxgold has announced a record first quarter production of 40,452 ounces of gold from its Yaramoko gold mine located in Burkina Faso.

“We are delighted with the continued strong operating performance at Yaramoko which achieved record gold production of 40,452 ounces for the first quarter," comments John Dorward, president and CEO of Roxgold.

"This achievement was a result of consistent optimisation and improvement at Yaramoko across all aspects of the operation.

“During the quarter, we initiated the development of Bagassi South, our second high-grade underground gold mine, which is on schedule to add 40,000 ounces to Yaramoko’s annual production in Q4 2018.

"In addition, we are continuing to execute on our extensive regional exploration program in line with our growth objectives.”

Operating highlights

The record gold production for the quarter was driven by improved operating performance in both the mine and processing plant.

The 55 Zone produced 88,606 tons of ore at 15.05 g/t Au along with completing 1,437 metres of development.

In Q1, approximately 75% of ore produced came from stoping activities and is a result of the extensive development that is in place at Yaramoko, with six open stopes available at the end of the quarter.

The plant processed a record 71,576 tons at an average head grade of 16.81 g/t Au.

Plant availability was 97.9% and overall recovery was excellent at 98.9% during the quarter. Importantly, the unit throughput rate at the plant has steadily increased over the last five quarters as a result of ongoing optimisation to be at 8.4% above nameplate capacity for Q1.

In the first quarter, decline development reached the 5015 level, approximately 300 metres below surface, and the bottom of the fifth stoping block.

Ore development commenced on the 5032 level and was completed on the 5049 level.

The mine continues to be well positioned to meet future production requirements with developed reserves for stoping exceeding 18 months of planned stoping.

At the end of the quarter, ROM stocks of 44,231 tons at 12.43 g/t Au had been established.

Reconciliation of mined material against the Roxgold resource model continued to improve in Q1 2018 following the good reconciliation observed in Q4 2017.

Reconciliation performed well both on a tonnage and grade basis with gold production reconciling to within 4% of the resource model.

An 11,000 metre drilling program is underway at the 55 Zone targeting the eastern and western extents of the deposit between the 5151 and 5049 levels.

Bagassi South expansion project update

During the quarter, Roxgold continued to advance the Bagassi South expansion project.

Highlights from the work plan of Q1 2018 include:

  • Permitting for the project received in early January and land compensation activities completed
  • The development and construction of the project is progressing according to plan
  • The boxcut construction for the underground portal is currently excavated to the second bench level
  • The haulage road is under construction and is expected to be completed within the next six weeks
  • Procurement of all equipment packages for the process plant expansion has been completed and civils construction in the plant has commenced
  • The secondary crusher is currently being manufactured
  • The processing plant tie-ins are expected to occur largely within planned maintenance stoppages in Q3 and Q4