Endeavour Mining’s mill expansion from 2,000 to 4,000 mt/d at its Tabakoto gold operations in western Mali achieved design capacity in June. The expansion included the addition of a SAG mill, additional CIL tanks and thickener, a gravity tower, an in-line leach reactor, and a gold room.
Endeavour CEO Neil Woodyer said, “We are very pleased to have completed the mill expansion on plan and on budget. The mill is meeting our expectations, which include increasing our gold production while reducing our unit operating costs. The expanded Tabakoto operation is now producing gold at a rate of approximately 150,000 oz/y.”
The Tabakoto property is located near Mali’s border with Senegal, 360 km west of Mali’s capital, Bamako. Ownership is 80% Endeavour and 20% government of Mali. Gold production during 2012 totaled 110,301 oz. Production during 2013 is forecast at 135,000 to 150,000 oz at a cash cost of $880 to $920/oz.
Feed to the Tabakoto mill during 2013 is approximately half from the Djambaye open pit and half from the Tabakoto underground mine. Underground mining is by long-hole open stoping and began in early 2012 from two portals at the bottom of the Tabakoto pit. Underground development is under way at the Segala deposit, which hosts approximately half of the property’s total resources.
The Tabakoto property’s proven and probable reserves totaled 712,000 oz as of year-end 2012 at an average grade of 4.6 g/mt gold, with approximately 80% being underground reserves. Resources inclusive of reserves totaled 1.077 million oz measured and indicated and 966,000 oz inferred.