London-based African gold miner Acacia Mining (formally African Barrick Gold) has announced new project developments at its Tanzania North Mara operation alongside a new joint venture taking the company into Burkina Faso as well.

Gokona Underground Project approved

The Board have approved a Definitive Feasibility Study for the Gokona underground pit in North Mara, estimated to produce 450,000 ounces of gold over a 5 year life span. The all sustaining costs will be under US $750 per ounce with a total pre-production capital expenditure of US$37 million.

In October 2013 the company deferred the mining of Gokona stage 3 via an open pit while looking at the possibilities of an underground operation.  The findings show that the Gokona is financially and operationally robust.

Following this approval, Acacia will now submit applications for outstanding permits to start mining via the underground operation. The company expect approvals in H1 next year.

Joint Venture in Burkino Faso

Acacia Mining has also made a joint venture with Sarama Resources to develop the South Hounde project in Burkino Faso. The project comprises 7 contiguous exploration licences covering an area of 814 square kilometers. Sarama has identified some high quality exploration targets and is expected to discover new gold deposits in addition to expanding existing assets.

CEO of Acacia, Brad Gordon says: “Acacia’s entry into this transaction represents an exciting step in our continued efforts to expand our footprints throughout Africa….and we will continue to assess exploration opportunities throughout the region that support our growth strategies.”