The DFS was initiated following a positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) released in May 2015.
Phase 2 Pre-Feasibility Study
The PFS envisioned integrating the Esaase deposit with Phase 1 to create one large, multi-pit mine and expanding the existing processing facilities to produce an average of 411,000 ounces of gold per annum (“pa”) over a 10.5 year Life of Mine (“LoM”) from 2018. The ore would be mined and crushed at Esaase and then conveyed to the expanded Phase 1 processing facility, which would include an upgrade to the CIL circuit with two extra tanks to increase capacity from 3Mtpa to 3.8Mtpa and the addition of a 5Mtpa flotation plant.
Opportunity for Staged Capital Development
Following the successful commissioning of Phase 1 in Q1 2016, the process plant has demonstrated the ability to operate at greater than 110% of the 3Mtpa design (see news release dated April 6, 2016). This has presented an opportunity to take advantage of the Esaase oxide ore (representing approximately 37% of Esaase reserves) which are well suited to processing through the CIL circuit. Therefore the scope of the Phase 2 DFS has been modified to include a two-stage approach for the integration of the Esaase deposit with Phase 1:
• Phase 2A: development of the Esaase pit, mining up to 2Mtpa of oxide ores and construction of the conveyor to provide the additional ore to process up to 5Mtpa through the existing CIL circuit, which will be upgraded; and
• Phase 2B: mining of both Esaase oxide and fresh ores and expansion of the processing facilities to include the addition of a 5Mtpa flotation plant to bring the total processing capacity up to 10Mtpa.
Peter Breese, President and CEO, said: “The successful ramp-up of the Phase 1 processing facility and the additional excess mill capacity has led us to re-think our approach for Phase 2. With a hungry mill and a CIL circuit that can be cost effectively upgraded, we believe staging the development of Esaase is a smarter option that we can fund out of cash flow whilst maintaining our strong balance sheet.”
“By focusing on mining just the Esaase oxides initially, which will utilise the mill’s spare capacity, we can increase gold production by nearly 50%, thereby reducing our unit cost of production and significantly improving cash flow.
“With Esaase about two years away from production, we will look to advance development of the satellite pits as well as continue our near-mine exploration program to find additional resources to keep the mill full until Esaase is brought online,” Mr Breese added.
Find full details attached in the downloadable PDF file above.