Roxgold achieved first gold pour at Yaramoko ahead of schedule
Roxgold, the TSXV-listed gold producer, is confident that commercial production at its Yaramoko gold mine will be achieved before the end of the third quarter.

Mali – “Since the start-up of the Yaramoko gold mine, 9 594 oz of gold have been recovered to inventory, of which 3 564 oz have been shipped. The processing plant has operated at an average of 759 tpd, which is above its nameplate rate of 750 tpd,” says John Dorward, Roxgold’s President and CEO.

Mine development

The eastern ventilation shaft has been completed with the fan installed and operational. The second (western) ventilation shaft is nearing completion.

Underground development continues to advance well and remains ahead of plan. The ramp has advanced 806 m from the portal in the East and West declines with workings opened up on four levels, which has enabled development on ore.

Ore milled to date has reconciled well with underground face samples and the company is pleased with overall performance to date against the resource model. Roxgold has been encouraged by the method in which the vein is being mined with dilution being well managed.

The operations team is now focused on preparing for stoping activities in the third quarter.

Processing plant

Construction of the processing plant and associated infrastructure is complete. Practical completion for the DRA/Group Five Joint Venture has been awarded and the contractual performance test was completed and passed on 13 May 2016.

Since completion, the plant has operated at or above its nameplate levels. Both plant operating time and unit throughput rates have met or exceeded design metrics of 91.7% and 34 tph respectively.

Similarly, gold recoveries, averaging 97.2%, have met or exceeded the design rate of 96.9%. Carbon-in-leach (CIL), together with the gravity circuit performance have both been positive, with a gravity recovery contribution of 55% in May. Further improvements in this area are a focus for the processing team.

Work on the construction of the HV powerline, which is based on lump-sum contracts, has commenced on site. The grid power off-take agreement with Sonabel, the national electricity provider, has recently been signed. All other required mine infrastructure is complete.

Financing

Roxgold’s cash position at the end of May 2016 was approximately US$32 million. Subsequently, 3 000 oz of gold have been sold and the remaining approximately $8 million from the company’s $75 million project finance facility, provided by Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, has been drawn down.

The $10 million shares for services arrangement with the underground mining contractor, African Underground Mining Services (AUMS), remains in place and available to Roxgold, however, the company does not envisage utilising this facility.

Upcoming project catalysts

Following the maiden resource at Bagassi South, reported in April, Roxgold intends to complete a study on the deposit in the fourth quarter of 2016.

It also intends to complete an updated mine plan for the 55 Zone, prior to the end of the year, based on additional resource drilling currently underway.