West Africa-focused project developer Asanko Gold is in discussions with independent power producer Genser Energy Ghana, which it says failed to meet the deadline for providing temporary power to the company’s mine project in Ghana.
Under the terms of a June power purchase agreement, Genser had committed to delivering temporary power to the project by November 1, as well as to build a permanent 19.2 MW liquid fuel power plant next to the Asanko gold mine site, in Ghana, and supply 17 MW of nominal power to Phase 1 on a fixed-price, life-of-mine contract.
Meanwhile, the 30-km-long, 161 kV power line connecting the project site to the national power grid at the Asawinso substation was completed this month, along with the 161/11 kV substation at the site. The line was now energized and ready to deliver power to the project site for commissioning.
The company planned to receive electricity from the state authority at rates materially in line with the definitive project plan. As a back-up measure, Asanko was installing 20 MW of diesel generator capacity at the site as a 100% redundant standby supply of power.
The back-up power would be fully operational by early December, Asanko said. With construction of the Asanko mine project three-quarters complete, the Canadian company on Monday said it expected hot commissioning of the plant to start in December. First gold production was scheduled for January – more than a month ahead of schedule and within the $295-million capital budget. “We are ready to start hot commissioning the entire processing plant during December.
With both the gravity and [carbon-in-leach] circuits ready to run in tandem, we expect to produce first gold during January and ramp up to steady-state production in the second quarter of 2016,” president and CEO Peter Breese commented. Full mining operations started in January, with the focus to pre-strip the main Nkran pit.
This operation had advanced in line with plans and the company had now started mining a combination of peripherals and early extensions of the main Nkran orezones. Asanko expected to have about 250 000 t of ore on stockpile by the end of November. Mining operations had achieved long-term, steady-state production levels in August.
The company still held a funding buffer of about $40-million, boosting the company’s confidence that it would reach commercial production and generate positive cash flows in the second quarter of next year.