Teranga Gold has commissioned its new Wahgnion gold operations in southwest Burkina Faso and will ramp up to design capacity during the fourth quarter. The mine plan focuses on open-pit mining of four initial deposits within the mine lease: the Nogbele, Fourkoura, Stinger and Samavogo deposits. The processing plant is located adjacent to the Nogbele deposit, which contains approximately 50% of total mineral reserves. The other three deposits (Fourkoura, Stinger and Samavogo) are located within 25 kilometers (km) of the plant.
Wahgnion development is based on proven and probable mineral reserves of 1.61 million ounces (oz) of gold in 31.07 million metric tons (mt) grading 1.61 grams/mt. Production during the first five years of operation, 2020 to 2024, is planned to average 132,000 oz per year (oz/y) from an average mill head grade of 1.83 g/mt. Average all-in sustaining costs are estimated at $761/oz.
Mine life is currently planned at 13 years.
An updated technical report dated July 31 estimated that the capital costs to construct Wahgnion would come in at $239.8 million, including process plant, infrastructure, an owner-operated mining fleet, owner’s cost, contingency, taxes and duties. This cost excluded the $16 million used for pre-construction spent in 2017 and early 2018.
Wahgnion plant design is based on a conventional carbon-in-leach flowsheet consisting of primary crushing; semiautogenous grinding and ball milling, with a pebble crusher; carbon-in-leach gold extraction, elution, electrowinning and gold smelting to produce doré on site.
Throughput is designed to range between 2.2 million mt/y and 2.5 million mt/y, depending on the blend of soft and hard ore. The average predicted plant gold recovery is 92%, with soft (oxide) material recoveries from some zones reaching as high as 95%.
Teranga COO Paul Chawrun said, “With safety front and center, the commissioning phase at Wahgnion was completed without a single lost-time injury, encompassing more than 5.3 million hours worked. This accomplishment reflects the hard work and dedication of all of our employees and contractors, and is aligned with our commitment to responsible mining.”
Commencing in 2020-2021, Teranga plans to embark on a multiyear exploration and drilling program that will focus on highly prospective exploration targets within trucking distance of the plant to further optimize the mine plan and extend Wahgnion mine life. The current reserve estimate and mine plan include only the four initial deposits on the mine license.
Teranga is a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto. Wahgnion is its second gold mine in west Africa. Its Sabodala mine in Senegal poured its first gold in 2009 and is forecast to produce in the range of 215,000 oz to 230,000 oz in 2019.