Asanko Gold Inc. [AKG-TSX, NYSE MKT] provided a construction update on Phase I of the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana, West Africa, which has been under construction since August 2014 and is now preparing for hot commissioning in December 2015. Phase I is a low cost, long life mine that will produce an average of 190,000 ounces of gold per annum at steady state over 12 years. The latest videos and photographs are available at http://www.asanko.com/projects/photo-gallery.
Peter Breese, President and CEO, said, “The project team and our main contractors have done a remarkable job in executing the Phase 1 build, with construction over a month ahead of schedule and the capital cost on budget. Full mining operations commenced back in January with a focus on the pre-strip of the main Nkran pit. This operation has advanced in line with our plans and we have now commenced mining a combination of peripherals and early extensions of the main Nkran ore zones. We anticipate having around 250,000 tonnes of ore on stockpile by the end of November. With mining operations having achieved long-term, steady-state production levels back in August, we have de-risked this element of Phase I.”
He added, “We are ready to start hot commissioning the entire processing plant during December 2015. With both the gravity and CIL circuits ready to run in tandem, we expect to produce first gold during January 2016 and ramp-up to steady-state production in Q2 2016.
With a funding buffer of approximately US $40 million, we remain confident of our ability to reach commercial production and generate positive cash flows in Q2 2016.”
The tailings storage facility is completed and final inspections are underway. The power line to the mine site is completed, commissioned and supplying power for mine commissioning.
The project is on budget with US $198 million of the US $295 million capital cost spent. The project is fully financed with cash balance of US $159 million and US $20 million in the undrawn debt facility.