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Resolute Mining provides life of mine production update

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Resolute Mining Ltd has presented its consolidated life of mine plan for the Syama gold mine in Mali and the Mako gold mine in Senegal.

Highlights

  • Life of mine (LOM) plan updated to reflect an average annual production of 370 000 oz over the five years to 2026 at an average AISC of US$1191/oz.
  • Total LOM total gold production 3.5 million oz at an average AISC of US$1110/oz to 2033.
  • Syama gold production:
    • Averages 243 000 oz/yr at an average AISC of US$993/oz over the current 12 year mine life to 2033.
    • Syama oxide production extended from 2023 until 2026 reflecting exploration success increasing satellite resource by 90%.
    • Tabakoroni sulfides expected to commence in 2026 with an estimated gold production of 664 000 oz over an eight year mine life.
  • Mako LOM gold production of 607 000 oz, remains unchanged at an updated average AISC of US$1071/oz over the remaining six-year mine life.
  • Exploration continues to be a key focus at both Syama and Mako and is expected to extend LOM production profiles at both operations.

Resolute’s CEO, Stuart Gale, commented: “Our latest LOM plan reflect an improved production profile over the current 12-year mine life at Syama incorporating the successful exploration campaigns which have extended oxide production for an additional two years together with exceptional drilling results at Tabakoroni. This allows us to defer the development of the Tabakoroni sulfide mine as we continue to assess and optimise the plan for the development of this resource.

“Syama has a significant gold endowment and there is still a great deal of exploration to be undertaken in this area. We remain very confident that the Syama operations will continue developing and extending beyond what we have published today.

“In addition, we remain focused on identifying further extension and development opportunities at Mako in Senegal, where we also expect to extend our mining activities beyond the current mine life.”

Syama LOM plan

Syama is a large-scale operation currently comprising an underground mine and opencast satellite mines providing ore to two separate processing circuits: a 2.4 million tpy sulgide processing circuit and a 1.5 million tpy oxide processing circuit.

A pre-feasibility study for an underground mine at Tabakoroni was completed in 2020. It is intended that Tabakoroni sulfides will sustain Syama’s annual production between 250 – 300 000 oz until 2030, as oxide operations cease. Exploration success at Tabakoroni has resulted in reserves increasing to 5 million t at 4.7 g/t for 0.77 million oz while resources have increased by 40% to 9.2 million t at 4.4 g/t for 1.35 million oz . In light of the ongoing exploration success, Resolute continues to optimise plans for the development of the Tabakoroni sulfide.

The updated Syama LOM reflects:

  • Sulfide gold production has been revised to 145 000 oz in 2022 (announced as part of Resolute’s 2022 guidance released in January 2022) due to the deferral of the planned sulfide circuit shutdown from late 2021 to February 2022. Throughput and recovery improvements are expected following this shutdown, together with a number of other initiatives, including the installation of the cleaner cells and debottlenecking of the fluid bed cyclone. As a result of these initiatives, forecast gold production is expected to step up to an average 177 000 oz between 2023 and 2030. Operation of the underground mine, based on the current LOM, extends to 2033 and with further exploration, is expected to continue beyond this timeframe.
  • LOM recoveries have been adjusted to 81% reflecting a marginal improvement on current performance.
  • Exploration and resource conversion is likely to further extend mine life further.
  • Syama oxide mining and processing has been extended to 2024 and 2026 respectively, reflecting a 90% increase in the mineral resource for the Syama satellite deposits, published in the 2021 ore reserves and mineral resource statement. Opencast grades have marginally reduced annual production to approximately 76 000 oz/yr between 2022 and 2024. Resolute continues to evaluate opportunities to extend opencast mining inventory at Syama.
  • Development of the Tabakoroni sulfide mine at an estimated cost of US$80 – US$100 million has been deferred to 2026, due to the extension of oxide production. Based on the current schedule development is expected to commence late in 2024 with Tabakoroni sustaining Syama sulfide production between 250 000 – 300 000 oz/yr from 2026. The Tabakoroni sulfide mine is currently expected to have an eight year life.
  • Minimal project capital is required over the remaining Syama LOM aside from the capital required to establish Tabakoroni sulfides. Between 2021 and 2029 Syama’s average sustaining capital is expected to be approximately IS$20 million/yr.

Updated Mako LOM plan

The Mako LOM production of 607 000 oz remains largely unchanged from the April 2021 LOM. AISC/oz is expected to be approximately 12% higher over the LOM. This increase reflects updated modelling of the cost base in the latter years of the mine life, where mining extends deeper into the pit and the haulage costs increase. In addition, the change in ore blend over time is expected to lead to increased processing costs.

Resolute notes that the above AISC/oz assumes the company is able to extend the tax exoneration it has received since the commencement of mining, for the remainder of the Mako LOM. As outlined in the company’s 4E preliminary financial statements, the company is currently in discussions with the Senegalese authorities regarding the extension of the tax exoneration from 5 – 7 years.

If the tax exoneration is not extended beyond five years, it is estimated that the LOM AISC/oz would increase from US$1071 – US$1145/oz, resulting from of the additional duties imposed. The company is firmly of the view that it has satisfied all relevant grounds for the exoneration extension to be granted, specifically the two year extension to the mine life.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/07032022/resolute-mining-provides-life-of-mine-production-update/

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