first_imgPrimed with a recent $100 million funding injection, Resolute Mining is growing its African footprint and accelerating its mining developments, Managing Director and CEO John Welborn told a packed audience at Day One of the Paydirt Africa Down Under (ADU) Mining Conference in Perth today. Meanwhile, Orion sets 2020 target date to re-open newly acquired giant of South African’s copper-zinc mines.Welborn told the ADU audience that the upcoming period of development will be one of the most active periods in the company’s colourful 23 year history in Africa. Leading the way is the Syama gold mine in Mali where Resolute is developing a worldclass, fully automated sub-level cave gold mine.The new underground project at Syama is set to develop an estimated gold resource of 7.9 Moz over an initial 14 year mine-life, at approximately 300,000 oz/y.Welborn told the mining conference that the next phase of development at Syama is on track to be delivered by December 2018. He said a Syama underground feasibility study update finalised earlier this year confirmed the operation’s long life, low cost potential.The former Wallaby rugby player said the decision to go to full autonomous mining and improvements to site power generation facilities will see Syama produce at an All-In Sustaining Cost of $746/oz over its 14-year life of mine.“Syama will be the first purpose-built, fully automated, underground mine in the world,” Welborn said. Highlights of the ground-breaking Syama underground development include:• A world class sub-level cave gold mine in the making• Controlled, high-productivity ore delivery• Full automation maximises operating efficiencies, making good use of Sandvik’s OptiMine• Early access to ore without leaving a crown pillar below the open pit• A flexible method with ability to adapt cut-off grades depending on economic inputs• Low upfront capex• A strong partnership with Sandvi.Resolute is also looking at further expansion opportunities at Syama, with a recently completed optimisation study identifying potential to improve mining and processing rates from the underground mine. Independent analysis has identified potential for higher production rates incorporating both sublevel cave and long hole open stope production.Resolute has also recently completed an updated feasibility study at the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana, which has demonstrated the potential for a long life, high margin project. The estimated ~$75 million project at Bibiani would develop an approximately 2.5 Moz resource at a rate of ~100,000 oz/y over an initial 10 year mine-life.Wellborn told the ADU audience that operational readiness planning is set to commence in FY2019, with a FID targeted to follow the Syama underground ramp-up.Resolute, which has produced 4.5 Moz of gold to date in Africa, paid $420 million in royalties and $1.5 billion to local vendors and employees, has continued to build on its African presence with the acquisition of stakes in a number of well managed African focused exploration teams holding promising tenure in highly prospective gold regionsThis includes Lonco (27%); Mako Gold Ltd (19%); Orca Gold (17%); Oklo Resources Ltd (10%) Manas Resources (23%) and Kilo Gold 27%.Welborn said Resolute “has built its proud history on the company’s love of Africa”.He said the geological richness of Africa, the enthusiasm of the African people, the economic potential and the supportive governments, made Africa a great place to invest.However, he warned that there were still a number of issues facing the mining sector across Africa.“We need Mining Code stability and strength, taxation transparency and respect of Mining Convention terms and stability,” Wellborn said. He highlighted the importance of finding a solution to recuperating Value Add Tax. “Recuperating VAT is the silent sleeping giant in increasing investment in mining in Africa.”A Melbourne company say it expects to restart by the end of 2020 a closed underground zinc copper mine it acquired last year and which is regarded as a “giant” in South Africa’s resources sector. The re-opening has been made possible by applying new mining and processing breakthroughs to these historic ore deposits.Addressing the first day today of the ADU, Orion Minerals Managing Director, Errol Smart, said the 12 month BFS schedule should be completed next quarter into the Prieska polymetallic project, 270 km southwest of Kimberley, the regional capital of South Africa’s Northern Cape province.The BFS is being buoyed by the mine’s existing access to significant local and regional infrastructure, with a mine infrastructure which already includes a regional power grid feed, bitumen access roads, access to a bulk, treated water supply and a 1,900 m landing strip.Prieska, which operated for 20 years and at one time employed up to 4,500 people before it became uneconomic, has a defined maiden resource under the Orion ownership of 1.1 Mt of contained zinc grading 3.8% and 365,000 t of contained copper grading an average 1.2%. The deposit is regarded as one of the world’s 30 largest VMS orebodies.Mining and environmental applications have already been lodged focused on initiating updated mine construction work by the second half of next year.“We are mounting an ongoing drilling program with the objective of achieving an upgrade in the classification of a substantial portion of the total mineral resource and to test the currently open extensions of the deposit,” Smart said. “Critically, a detailed engineering appraisal has confirmed the integrity of key installations at Prieska and this will deliver we expect into the VFS, significant capital cost and time savings.“In addition, we have been able to apply advanced mine design and flowsheet approaches to optimise substantial remaining or bodies at Prieska and to exploit some opportunity remaining for open-pit mining.“We have also embarked on securing a regional exploration footprint of around 1,790km², the first time this highly prospective region has been consolidated under a single owner for the first time.”Mr Smart said the new concentrated drill schedules aimed to evolve Prieska as a mining hub around further discovery in the local footprint.“Our application of new technology has discovered a whole lot more ore and we are also able to promote safer mining operations than historically employed on site,” Mr Smart said.“The project is now being fast-tracked to deliver our production targets as ground conditions and infrastructure in the underground mine to date have been found to generally be in a better state than was expected. Orion is confident that mine refurbishment will not require substantial engineering effort.”last_img read more