Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 June 2008 – The Perkoa zinc mine – located in the Sanguie Province of the West African state of Burkina Faso, 120 km west of the capital, Ouagadougou – has shown across-the-board improvement with increased production, grades and life-of-mine (LOM). Net present value (NPV) has risen sharply to US$105.8 million (more than R800 million).
An upgrade and progress report released here last night said that Perkoa, which is fully owned by London and Australian-listed AIM Resources Limited – an Australian-based resources company with an exciting portfolio of African assets – had achieved an 8% increase in LOM tonnes from 5.856 to 6.337. Ore grade had improved from 13.2% to 13.8%, and life of mine was up from 8 to 9.5 years. Production rate will be 60 000 tpm.
The report added that in terms of site infrastructure, the ramp surface leading into the box-cut was being prepared for final surfacing, and the entire project was scheduled for completion by September 2008.
The target date for finalising the logistics route – which will use one of the ports in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana or Lome. A final decision on this aspect will be made before funding is finalised.
Negotiations have continued with Xstrata’s Asturiana de Zinc and Boliden AB, who have signed letters of intent for purchase of the Perkoa concentrates, according to the update.
IOt added that the company had available cash funds totaling US$57 million (R430 million), which meant an additional US$57 million (R430 million) was required to complete development of the mine. The company was aiming to secure financing by the end of September 2008.
Having delivered significant improvements to project economics, another two initiatives are currently being investigated.
In the first, core samples of potential secondary silver concentrate product are being analysed in Australia to determine the extent to which the silver present in the ore can be extracted. The current plant design assumes all the silver is to be discarded, and therefore no allowance has been made for any economic benefit from recovery of the discarded silver.
Secondly, it is expected that assay results for the recent deep drilling programme completed in April 2008, will contribute to extending the dimensions of the ore body at depth. An extension of the block model and increase in reserves will potentially increase the life of the mine even further.