TSX-listed gold producer Roxgold produced 133 940 oz of gold from the Yaramoko Mine Complex for the full year of 2020 – exceeded its production guidance of between 120 000 – 130 000 oz of gold.
The company achieved the 133 940 oz of gold by processing a record 512 276 t at an average head grade of 8.5 g/t and mill recoveries of 98.1%. The processing plant availability was 96.3% over the year and averaged a throughput rate of 1 400 tpd, exceeding nameplate capacity by approximately 27%.
Mining activities totalled 506 109 t of ore mined at an average mined grade 8.3 g/t. Mining rates increased in Q4,2020 as operations were able to mitigate COVID-19 protection protocol impacts.
On a quarterly basis, the Yaramoko Mine Complex produced 35 191 oz, based on processing 128 059 t at an average head grade of 9.3 g/t and mill recoveries of 98.2%. The processing plant reported availability of 94.8% in the quarter, averaging a throughput rate of 1 392 tpd.
Mining activities increased with a quarterly record of 149 347 t of ore mined, at an average grade of 7.9 g/t, with the 55 Zone accounting for 63% of mined ore and 37% coming from Bagassi South. High levels of mine productivity in the quarter are due to increased levels of stope availability at Zone 55 and Bagassi South, following the completion of development activities at Bagassi South.
Roxgold reported annual gold sales of 135 310 oz at record average realized gold prices of US$1 771/oz. In Q4 2020, gold sales of 38 504 oz were above production due to the timing of gold shipments at the end of the third quarter.
Roxgold generated strong free cashflow (before growth spend) of over $47 million, increasing its cash balance from $41.8 million to approximately $61.7 million as of 31 December 2020. This enabled the company to continue to strengthen its balance sheet ending the year with a net cash position of over $26 million. The company continues to have an additional $20 million as a revolving credit facility that remains unutilised at the end of the year.
“Roxgold continued its long track record of outperformance, navigating an extraordinary year to deliver on our production guidance and strengthening our balance sheet by generating strong free cash flow whilst delivering significant value accretion through the advancement of the Séguéla project, the Boussoura discovery and increasing the Reserves at Yaramoko by 8%,” says Roxgold President and CEO John Dorward.
“Yaramoko continues to be the cashflow engine for this company, generating strong free cashflow (before growth expenditures) of over $47 million in 2020, which has enabled us to strengthen our balance sheet to finish the year with a cash balance of approximately $61.7 million. Since starting production in 2016, Yaramoko has produced over 610 000 oz of gold and, as the recent resource update highlighted, continues to demonstrate its ability to replace production and maintain a long mine life.
“Looking ahead, the pace of progress at Roxgold continues to accelerate, as we announced last month that we broke ground at the Séguéla gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, following receipt of the environmental and social impact assessment andexploitation permits. The goal of pouring first gold from Séguéla next year is within our reach with early works at Séguéla already initiated to enable a rapid ramp up to full construction following completion of the feasibility study in the second quarter of this year.
“We currently have four drills turning at Séguéla and are eager to share with the market the results of the program which has been focusing on extension and infill drilling at Koula and the continued scout testing of the extensive portfolio of targets within our land package,” says Dorward.
2021 production guidance
Roxgold anticipates the Yaramoko Mine Complex will produce between 120 000 and 130 000 oz of gold in 2021 with cash operating costs of between $580 – 640/oz and all-in sustaining costs of between $895–975/oz.
Sustaining capital is expected to decline this year compared to 2020 due to the completion of decline development at Bagassi South, allowing the operation to focus on stoping operations. The higher gold price increased the impact of royalties by approximately $30/oz.
The production and cost guidance assumes no material operational impacts due to COVID-19. A prolonged COVID-19 related delay or significant deterioration in operating conditions may have an impact on production and cost guidance.