Roxgold Inc. [ROG-TSXV; ROGFF-OTC] has poured first gold at the Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The initial gold pour totalled 1,020 ounces.
“We are extremely pleased to be a producing company, and are delighted to continue our track record of reaching milestones ahead of schedule,” said John Dorward, President and CEO.
“We thank our shareholders, stakeholders in the community, employees, contractors, government officials and the board of directors for all of their continued support.” Roxgold’s COO Paul Criddle commented, “Pouring gold thirteen months from breaking ground is an achievement that we can all be proud of and is a true testament of hard work, dedication and exemplary teamwork by the Roxgold team.”
The Yaramoko Mine was built on budget, ahead of schedule and is one of the highest grade gold mines in the world. As at March 31, 2016 Roxgold maintained a healthy balance sheet with cash of approximately US $42 million and debt of approximately US $59 million. The company expects to ramp up to commercial production in the third quarter of 2016.
Commissioning and Ramp-Up
Plant Practical Completion and Processing Performance Tests confirming nameplate throughput and recovery assumptions were completed over a month ahead of schedule and mine development remains ahead of plan year to date. In the underground operation, four sublevels are fully developed to the eastern end of the resource and ore development is continuing to the western end of the first mining block on three levels. Ore development is expected to increase further next month when development commences in Block 2 on the western side of the deposit. Stoping operations in Block 1 will commence in July, further increasing the mine’s productivity.
Currently there are approximately 30,000 tonnes of mill feed grade ore on the run of mine pad. This represents approximately six weeks of plant throughput at the nameplate level of 750 tonnes per day and, together with development ore, should ensure that the processing plant is adequately supplied through the ramp up phase.
Expected Upcoming Catalysts
Other near term catalysts include continued exploration at the 55 Zone where the company is currently executing an advanced definition and expansion program with the intention of completing an updated resource estimate in the second half of 2016.