SEMAFO is advancing construction of its Boungo Mine which is still in line to achieve its first gold pour early in the third quarter of 2018.
As of 31 March 2018 SEMAFO reports:
- Development on budget, with $194 million of the $231 million capital expenditure incurred
- Recruitment of key operational management near complete
- Recruitment of mine operator employees is proceeding to schedule
- Training began in April for completion in May
- 1,643 personnel including contractors were employed on site, 87% of whom are Burkinabe
- 4.9 million man-hours (485 days) have been worked without lost-time injury
As at April 30, 2018:
- Commissioning 57% complete
- Construction of process plant is 100% complete
- Pre-stripping 87% complete with 15.6 million of the projected 18 million tonnes extracted
- First ore hauled to the ROM pad at end of March
Since launch of commissioning at the end of February, the crushing circuit equipment and water services have been tested and commissioned.
The reclaim and grinding circuits, reagent and oxygen plants are also undergoing testing.
Wet commissioning began at the end of March with the Corporation pumping water from the water storage facility to the raw water tanks for the processing plant.
Tapoa (Boungou Mine)
One reverse circulation (RC) drill rig was active at Boungou Mine in the first quarter of 2018.
Drilling on Boungou Proximal began late in the quarter with a total of nine holes (1,502 meters) completed.
The 10,000 m programme at Boungou Proximal is designed to follow up on the encouraging 2017 results within a five-kilometer radius of the mine.
RC drilling continues at Boungou Proximal in the second quarter and results will be released when available.
Additionally, during the first three months of 2018, the final delineation drilling programme was completed on the West Flank Zone.
A total of 10,623 m of drilling was carried out in order to maintain the option of a future underground mining operation. Results are in line with the company's expectations.
In addition SEMAFO reported its financial and operational results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018.
First Quarter 2018 - in review
As expected, during the first quarter of 2018, the tonnes processed decreased by 11% compared to the same period in 2017 due to the hardness of the ore.
The ore mined in the quarter increased by 24% compared to the first quarter of 2017, in accordance with the mine plan.
The 12% decrease in head grade reflects the mine plan and the ore mix at the plant. In the first quarter of 2017, a significant portion of ore processed was sourced from the Fofina pit compared to lower grade ore sourced from Wona pit and the stockpile in the same period in 2018.
As expected, the gold ounces produced and sold decreased by 18% and 14% respectively, compared to the same period in 2017.
In the first quarter of 2018, the all-in sustaining cost reached $1,083 per ounce sold compared to $892 per ounce sold in the same period in 2017.
This is due to a lower head grade and higher cash operating cost per tonne, the latter being mainly caused by negative foreign exchange fluctuations.
The Corporation expects to attain its 2018 production outlook of between 235,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold and to meet its all-in sustaining cost outlook of between $900 and $940 per ounce.