The mining permit for the project was awarded in December 2016 which saw the company move straight into construction in January 2017, having already completed the bulk of the upfront detailed engineering work.
Construction commenced with bulk earthworks, construction of the accommodation camps, establishment of the water storage facility and dams as well as pre-construction work at the processing plant.
Between end June 2017 and end September, construction completion increased from 35% to 63%. The company has indicated to market that first gold production will take place in the third quarter of 2018, but if it continues to advance so rapidly, this could be sooner.
Approximately 139 Mt of material will be mined from the open pit during the +7 year projected LOM – delivering 9.6 Mt of ore to the milling facility. Process grades for the initial three years are expected to average 5.72 g/t gold for an average 226 000 ozpa of gold.
As at September 30, 2017, the following achievements had been made:
- Development on schedule, with $113 million spent
- Construction 63% complete
- Relocation of Boungou residents to newly constructed village
- Completion of over 70% of the total concrete pour
- Installation of the vertimill and completion of the foundations for the SAG mill
- Erection of the leach tanks complete with erection of water tanks halfway complete
- Delivery of most major long-lead items on site: the primary crusher, SAG mill shell and power plant gensets
- Erection of structural steel on-going in the pebble crusher, reagent storage, reclaim, grinding, workshop and pipe rack areas
- Final elevation of water storage facility embankment
- Commencement of earthworks on the tailings storage facility
- Pre-stripping continues at the Boungou deposit with 5.3 million of the projected 18 million t extracted
- 1 695 personnel including contractors were employed on site, 90% of which are Burkinabe
- 5 million man-hours have been worked without lost-time injury
- Signing of a three-year collective agreement with Boungou employees
Feature image credit: SEMAFO