Australian junior development company Vital Metals has initiated a scoping study to assess the viability of developing an open-pit mining and processing operation on its 100% owned Kollo gold project in Burkina Faso.

The study will initially comprise a program of infill and step-out exploration drilling and resource modeling, followed by evaluation of mining and processing methods, infrastructure, waste handling and environmental requirements.

Previous exploration drilling at Kollo has returned broad intercepts of shallow, high-grade gold mineralization that appears suitable for mining by open-pit methods. Preliminary metallurgical testwork has demonstrated that the gold is free and fully liberated, with better than 95% recoveries achieved from conventional cyanide leaching.

The scoping study will build on these foundations, and, subject to completion of the infill-drilling program, Vital is aiming for completion of the study by the end of August.

Vital intends to complete the study to a sufficient level of detail to allow it to proceed directly to a definitive feasibility study on the back of the expected strong results.

Vital believes that Kollo, as a near-surface gold deposit, has the right characteristics to be developed as an open-pit mining operation with low capital expenditure, low operating costs and high projected margins.