Roxgold gets permitting approval for West Africa gold mine

Roxgold’s high-grade Yaramoko Gold Mine in southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa. Source: Roxgold Inc.

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Roxgold’s high-grade Yaramoko Gold Mine in southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa. Source: Roxgold Inc.

Roxgold Inc. [ROXG-TSX; ROGFF-OTC] said it has received permitting approval to develop the Bagassi South gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The approval from the Burkina Faso Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development marks a significant milestone in the permitting process and solidifies the development timeline of the Bagassi South projects, the company said.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the permitting approval for the Bagassi South Project,’’ said Roxgold President and CEO John Dorward. “The approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Bagassi South allows us to confirm our development decision and begin mine development and construction for our first growth project on the Yaramoko concession,’’  he said.

Roxgold’s key asset is the high-grade Yaramoko Gold Mine located in the province of Bale in southwestern Burkina Faso, about 200 km southwest of Ouagadougou.  Yaramoko lies directly south of, and is contiguous to, the SEMAFO Inc. property hosting the flagship Mana Gold mine, and lies within the Houndé greenstone belt. The company declared commercial production in October 1, 2016 and expects to produce up to 115,000 ounces gold in 2017.

After completing a feasibility study in 2014, Roxgold is advancing a significant high-grade gold discovery at Yaramoko’s 55 Zone, which is expected to produce 652,000 ounces over the next seven years, at a life of mine average of 11.5 grams per tonne.

Roxgold has also outlined an inferred resource of 220,000 ounces gold in the Bagassi South Zone, a satellite discovery, located 1.8 kilometres south of Zone 55. Roxgold has indicated that Bagassi could be producing its first ore by the third quarter of 2018.

Roxgold is continuing to advance the development of the Bagassi South Project with underground mine development and construction activities commencing in the first quarter of 2018. With the approval of the ESIA, the company has filed an application for an extension of its exploitation (mining) permit to include the Bagassi South deposits, which marks the final step in the permitting process. A decision regarding the extension from the Burkina Faso government is expected by the second quarter of 2018.

Burkina Faso has emerged as one of the fastest growing areas for gold exploration in West Africa. Major players in Burkina Faso include Endeavour Mining Corp. [EDV-TSX] and Roxgold Inc.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation that covers an area of roughly 274,000 km2 and has an estimated population of more than 16 million. The country has a stable political setting with a pro-mining and foreign investment stance. However, in January 2016, Islamists attacked a hotel and café in the country’s capital Ouagadougou, killing 29 people. The café was frequented by French military and other expatriates.

Burkina Faso has nine operating gold mines and a number of advanced stage projects that are moving towards production. It is viewed as having excellent geological potential as the Greenstone Belt that hosts all of the major deposits in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire continue northward into Burkina Faso. Gold is mainly mined from Proterozoic rocks and alluvial/eluvial deposits.

It is a geological setting that is thought to be similar to the prolific Precambrian gold belts of eastern Canada and other parts of the world. However Burkina remains relatively unexplored, in comparison to neighbouring Ghana and Mali, both of which host world class gold mines in the same belts of Birmian rocks. Below are profiles of companies that are currently active in Burkina Faso.

On Wednesday, Roxgold shares eased 4.4% or $0.06 to $1.30 in late morning trading.

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