West African Resources Executive Chairman and CEO Richard Hyde commented: “Our feasibility study for Kiaka shows it will be a long-life low-cost gold project averaging 219,000 oz of gold production per annum for 18.5 years from 2025. The Group’s updated 10-year gold production outlook is set to average over 200,000 ounces from 2022 to 2024, doubling to over 400,000 ozpa from 2025 to 2031.
“Kiaka’s development fits with WAF’s strategy of building conventional gold projects with simple metallurgy in known mining jurisdictions. Kiaka’s proximity to our existing Sanbrado Gold Operation (45 km) gives WAF the opportunity to leverage off our experienced management and operational teams in the region.
“We aim to fund the Kiaka development from internal cashflow and debt and have engaged leading debt advisory firm Orimco to assist with the banking process. Mining at Kiaka will be by conventional open-pit mining methods and the plant will have single-stage crushing and SABC milling with CIL processing designed to deliver 90% gold recoveries life of mine.
“Kiaka will access power from the Burkina Faso grid predominantly supplied by low-carbon hydroelectric power from Ghana and the Ivory Coast with large Burkina Faso low-carbon solar projects planned to come online early in the mine life to supplement the grid.
“Kiaka operations will support more than 1,200 direct local jobs and will be an important source of revenue for Burkina Faso through the payment of significant taxes and royalties while allowing West African to expand our community programs aimed at providing lasting improvement to the lives of local people in the nearby region.
“WAF will investigate expanding Kiaka to +10 Mtpa through the addition of secondary crushing and debottlenecking the process circuit. We are evaluating tenders for key major equipment received during the feasibility study, which ranged widely in price and delivery lead times. There remains scope to reduce the capex and cost contingencies on this equipment, as well as shorten the lead times.
“WAF holds a commanding +1,700 km² land position over the highly prospective Markoye fault zone, which hosts our Sanbrado, Toega and Kiaka gold projects. WAF’s recent exploration success at the MV3 prospect highlights the potential of this land package, with recent drilling returning 13 m at 5.3 g/t gold and 15 m at 5.8 g/t gold. I am confident that future drilling programs will deliver more exploration success.
“We have a US$20 million 2022 early works budget for Kiaka, with major works expected to start in early 2023 leading to first gold in mid-2025. WAF is in an exciting growth phase, as we aim to a be a multi-project +400,000 ozpa gold producer by 2025.”