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Gold developer West African Resources has appointed Matthew Wilcox as its chief development officer as it moves into the development phase at its 90%-owned Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso.

Matthew Wilcox will join the West African Resources executive team in September and will directly manage the construction of Sanbrado.

Wilcox is highly experience in the gold mining construction industry in West Africa, having spent the past eight years working for LSE-listed gold producer Nord Gold, which operates nine gold mines globally, including three mines in Burkina Faso and one mine in Guinea.

Wilcox was project director for the construction of Nordgold’s 4 Mtpa Bissa gold project and 8 Mtpa Bouly gold project, both located in Burkina Faso. He was also General Manager of the 6 Mtpa LEFA gold project in Guinea, and most recently was project director for the construction of the 12 Mtpa Gross gold project in Siberia, Russia.

Wilcox, who holds a Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry) and Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) degrees from Curtin University, Perth, has also worked with engineering firms Lycopodium and Minproc based in Perth. He holds

“Appointing a chief development officer of Wilcox’s calibre is a key milestone for the company as we progress our Sanbrado gold project to production,” says West African Resources MD Richard Hyde, adding that Wilcox’s hands-on experience, including managing the construction of two large gold mines in Burkina Faso, will translate well for a successful build for West African Resources.”

“Both of the most recent projects Matthew led through to completion were successfully delivered on time, and on or below budget. We look forward to Matthew joining the company in early September 2018.”

Sanbrado update

Early construction works have commenced at Sanbrado. The 150 000m3 water storage pit located in the stage 2 M5 open pit has been completed and is filling up with surface water runoff from the current wet season. The location of the underground portal has been confirmed, and geotechnical drilling has been completed.

As planned West African Resources expects to break ground on the underground portal in October following the wet season. Final site selection for the Stage 1 70 man construction camp has also been confirmed.

Converted sea containers are being completed in Ouagadougou by a local contractor and will commence being installed on site in October.

The company has also completed all major permitting milestones relating to Sanbrado and has received strong interest from international resource banks, debt funds and royalty companies to fund the majority of the project’s capital requirements.

The company will review the finance proposals during the third quarter of 2018 and intends to appoint a funding syndicate in the fourth quarter 2018.