Gryphon Minerals, an Australian junior company headquartered in Subiaco, West Australia, has reported the results of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) that demonstrates the viability of developing its Banfora gold project in southwest Burkina Faso. The study is based on a conventional 2-million-mt/y CIL processing plant and open-pit mining operation using contractor mining, with the potential to expand to 4 million mt/y.

The Banfora BFS considers initial proven and probable ore reserves of 1.05 million oz contained in 16.7 million mt grading 1.95 g/mt at variable cut-offs of 0.5 and 0.6 g/mt. The project has an estimated global resource of 4.89 million oz in 112 million mt grading 1.4 g/mt at a cutoff of 0.5 g/mt. The reserves and resources are 90% above 150 m in depth and remain open at depth and along strike, with a strong likelihood of further increases through ongoing drilling.

Banfora production is estimated at 151,000 oz/y of gold at production costs of $734/oz during its first five years of operation, processing ore grading 2.38 g/mt. Capital costs to develop the project are estimated at $208 million, plus contingencies. Base case economics are based on a $1,300/oz gold price.

Gryphon has initiated the Banfora project permitting process, with expectations that it will be completed by the third quarter of 2013. The construction period is planned at 15 months, with first gold production anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2014.