Mine construction camp at the Asanko gold project in Ghana. First gold is expected in early 2016.

Mine construction camp at the Asanko gold project in Ghana. First gold is expected in early 2016.

Asanko Gold has released the Definitive Project Plan for Phase 1 of its two-phase Asanko gold mine project in Ghana. Construction has started on Phase 1, with steady state production planned at 190,000 oz/y. First gold is targeted for the first quarter of 2016 and steady state production for the second quarter of 2016.

Phase 1 is slated to produce 2.33 million oz of gold over a 12-year mine life. A study of Phase 2 development is scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2015 and is based on development of the Esaase deposit 30 km north of the Phase 1 plant site. Phase 2 development has the potential to lift total project production to 400,000 oz/y of gold.

Asanko Phase 1 will mine the Nkran pit, which accounts for 85% of thePhase 1 ore reserves, and four satellite deposits: Abore, Asuadai, Dynamite Hill and Adubiaso. A life-of-mine schedule has been developed to supply 3 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of feed to a conventional milling and carbon-in-leach plant, which will include a gravity circuit that will recover about 40% of the gold. The plant will be located close to the Nkran pit.

A mining contractor will conduct all ore and waste mining activities. The five Phase 1 deposits will be mined by conventional truck-and-shovel methods. A single fleet of mining equipment will be shared between all of the deposits.

For the satellite deposits, a fleet of contracted over-the-road trucks will be utilized to haul ore from the respective pit rim stockpiles to the run-of-mine stockpile at the central processing facility.

Mine production will begin at the Nkran pit, which will assist in keeping pre-stripping volumes low and delivering higher mill feed grades early in Phase 1. Approximately one year of waste stripping will be required to expose sufficient ore to maintain a constant ore feed rate of 3 million mt/y.

The life-of-mine average operating strip ratio will be 4.7:1. The peak production requirements are 26 million mt/y of total material movement.

Capital cost to develop Phase 1 is estimated at $295 million, including all associated infrastructure and allowances for contingencies.

Phase 1 of the Asanko gold project has 15.6 million mt of proven reserves at a grade of 2.27 g/mt for 1.12 million oz of contained gold and 21.1 million mt of probable reserves at a grade of 2.07 g/mt for 1.39 million oz of contained gold.