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Fortuna provides Séguéla gold project construction update

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. has provided an update on construction activities at its Séguéla gold project located in Côte d’Ivoire. In September of 2021, the company made a construction decision to proceed to build a 3750 tpd mill at Séguéla, with first gold pour expected in mid-2023.

Paul Criddle, COO – West Africa of Fortuna, commented: “The Séguéla Project continues to advance in line with our expectations through what is a challenging supply market.”

“Séguéla has transitioned through the design and procurement phases to now having much of the critical earthworks and civil works out of the ground ahead of the upcoming wet season, in line with budget and schedule. Activities at the project site are really ramping up ahead of planned gold pour in mid-2023.”

Construction highlights

  • Overall project is 61% complete as of 15 June 2022.
  • Approximately US$91.6 million of the US$173.5 million initial capital budget accrued as of 31 May 2022.
  • Approximately US$143.8 million committed as of 31 May 2022.
  • Majority of equipment packages secured and first deliveries arriving in Abidjan, Côte d´Ivoire.
  • All major construction contracts executed and contractor mobilisations underway.
  • All key scopes now commenced and construction advancing on the ground.
  • Mining contract executed with Mota-Engil and long lead equipment ordered.
  • Key mechanical equipment has begun arriving at site.
  • First gold pour remains on target for mid-2023.

Accommodation camp

The accommodation camp is complete and occupied by the project and company staff.

Processing plant

De Simone was awarded the process plant bulk earthworks contract and activities are nearing completion. Ground improvement works are completed and only punch listed items are outstanding. All areas have been handed over to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for construction of the processing plant.

Lycopodium, the process plant EPC contractor, mobilised to site in March 2022 and has made excellent progress in advancing the critical path scopes for the plant. As of 15 June 2022, engineering activities were 95% complete, procurement activities 78% complete and construction activities have commenced in the following key areas:

  • Civil and concrete works for the crusher, surge bin, milling and carbon in leach (CIL) areas.
  • CIL tank fabrication.
  • Installation of high security fencing.

The delivery and installation of the SAG mill remains on the project’s critical path and, despite supply chain challenges and risks, is expected to be delivered to site on schedule. Manufacturing of core components such as the shell, heads and trunnions and gear and pinion are well advanced. Despite challenges around logistics due to global port congestion at the start of the year, key mechanical packages such as the primary crusher and high-voltage transformers have started to arrive in-country in line with the schedule.

Site bulk earthworks

Construction of the tailings storage facility (TSF) and water storage dam (WSD) are well advanced. Construction of the WSD embankment is on-track to be completed by the end of June, ahead of the upcoming wet season, and the embankment has already begun capturing and storing raw water in preparation for commissioning and transition into operations. Likewise, good progress has been made on the TSF embankment and is on track to be completed in 4Q22. High density polyethylene (HDPE) lining of the western TSF basin has commenced and approximately 26% of the total surface of the TSF has been lined by mid-June.

Grid connection

Works are on-track to provide power to the site by the end of 4Q22 ahead of commissioning activities at the processing plant. Despite challenges around logistics from port congestion at the start of the year, key electrical packages such as the high-voltage transformers out of Shanghai have started to arrive at site in line with the schedule. The 33 kV tower erections are complete with transmission line stringing commencing in June. Tower erections for the 90 kV power line have commenced and the first shut-down for tie-in to the electrical grid is scheduled for late July. The construction of the substation is approximately 67% complete with all major equipment packages, such as control, automation and communication panels, on-track for shipment in early July.

Mining

Mota-Engil has been awarded the contract for mining services at Séguéla. The agreement has been executed and orders for long lead items placed. Mota-Engil has commenced recruitment for the project and will advance mobilisation and establishment of site infrastructure in 3Q22.

Operational readiness

Fortuna is advancing its organisational infrastructure in Côte d’Ivoire to prepare for the start of operations at Séguéla, as well as establishing a regional office to service both Séguéla and the Yaramoko Mine. Key administration and logistics personnel that support the ongoing project execution phase are already in place, developing the systems and procedures required for this. Recruitment for the Séguéla operations group has commenced with key senior members of this team expected to be on board in 3Q22.

Cost

As of 31 May 2022, US$143.8 million of the total approved budget of US$173.5 million, including US$8.9 million contingency, has been committed. Of the total commitments to date, these include contracts for a guaranteed maximum price for US$87 million, fixed price contracts for US$15.4 million and earthworks bill of quantity and schedule of rates for US$13.7 million. The remaining commitments are largely comprised of employee salaries, equipment and material purchase orders, land compensation and livelihood restoration programs. Consequently, management of Fortuna believes that risks associated with the volatile market conditions and price escalations have been mitigated as far as practicable.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/23062022/fortuna-provides-sgula-gold-project-construction-update/

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