Volta Resources, a Canadian junior company based in Toronto, has reported positive results for an NI 43-101-compliant prefeasibility study of its Kiaka gold project in southern Burkina Faso. The study, performed by Tetra Tech Wardrop, is based on proven and probable mineral reserves of 126 million mt at a diluted grade of 0.96 g/mt gold, for 3.89 million oz of contained gold.

Base case evaluation calls for owner mining of 12 million mt/y of ore from a single open pit in the Kiaka Central area at a strip ratio of 2.95:1. Processing would be through two parallel, 6-million-mt/y lines, each comprising a SAG mill, ball mill, and carbon-in-pulp leach circuit, with an average metallurgical recovery of 89.84%. Annual production is estimated at 340,000 oz/y of gold over a mine life of 10.3 years. Initial capital costs are estimated at C$609.7 million, and average on-site operating costs are estimated at $671/oz.

Volta President and CEO Kevin Bullock said, “These are monumental results for Volta that widely exceeded our expectations and place Volta firmly on the path to production. It’s notable that the strong economic benefits arise from conservative assumptions and, along with numerous options for optimization, we are confident that we can make these numbers even more powerful. We will continue our aggressive pace toward production. We will continue drilling our new high-grade deposit and conclude various technical tasks in order to begin a feasibility study as soon as possible.”

The prefeasibility study is based only on mineral resources in the Kiaka Central area. Drilling undertaken 750 m south of the Kiaka Central area has identified the potential for an open-pit, high-grade satellite resource. Volta is currently drilling this target with a view to defining a maiden mineral resource estimate early in the third quarter of 2012. The close proximity of this possible high-grade satellite resource may offer the opportunity to begin production at a considerably higher grade than is considered in the prefeasibility study.