Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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REGIONAL NEWS - AFRICA 20 E&MJ • OCTOBER 2018 Hummingbird Installing Second Ball Mill at Yanfolila Hummingbird Resources is installing a second ball mill at its Yanfolila gold mine in southern Mali to increase plant throughput capacity from 1.24 million metric tons per year (mt/y) to 1.4 mil- lion mt/y when processing a blend of ore types. When processing 100% fresh ore, throughput capacity will increase from 1 million mt/y to 1.24 million mt/y. The second mill is scheduled to be- come operational in the third quarter of 2019. Capital expenditures for the pro- ject are budgeted at about $13 million. The Yanfolila crushing circuit is current- ly a two-stage operation incorporating both primary and secondary crushing to treat a blend of oxide and harder ores. The origi- nal project plan was to add a tertiary crush- ing circuit to allow the plant to process 100% hard fresh ore later in the mine life. However, annual throughput was expected to decrease from 1.24 million to 1 million mt/y when operating with 100% fresh ore, which led to a drop-in life-of-mine average production to 107,000 ounces per year (oz/y) from 130,000 oz in the first full year of commercial production. The ball mill project is primarily be- ing undertaken by SENET, a South Af- rica-based project management and engineering firm. Under the terms of an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) contract, SEN- ET has assumed and will maintain tech- nical control of and responsibility for the design and construction of the new facili- ties and will appoint project personnel for this purpose. SENET was the EPCM contractor for the initial construction of the Yanfolila mine. "Approving the second ball mill in place of a tertiary crusher at the same time as releasing initial results from our 2018 exploration program shows the con- fidence we have in increasing our reserves at Yanfolila," Hummingbird CEO Dan Betts said. "The second mill will give us greater flexibility and 24% more through- put when operating on 100% fresh ore." BHP to Buy Interest in SolGold BHP has entered into an agreement with Guyana Goldfields Inc. to acquire a 6.1% interest in SolGold Plc, the majority own- er and operator of the Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project in Ecuador. BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said the investment in SolGold would give BHP exposure to a high-qual- ity copper exploration project in Ecuador, which is a highly prospective location for BHP. "Consistent with our positive long- term outlook, copper is a key exploration focus for BHP as we seek to replenish our resource base and grow this important business," Mackenzie said. Under the terms of the agreement with Guyana, BHP will acquire 103.1 million shares in SolGold, for 26.592 pence per share, for a total of about $35 million. Boungou Achieves Commercial Production Commercial production at SEMAFO Inc.'s Boungou mine in Burkina Faso was reached on September 1. Commercial production was declared when operations reached the internal commercial produc- tion measure of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput at 75% of nominal de- sign capacity at 4,000 tons per day (t/d). During the 30-day period, the mill pro- cessed more than 90,000 metric tons (mt) of ore at an average grade of 2.4 g/ mt Au and with a recovery rate of 83%. During the period, the mill mainly processed lower grade ore sourced from the east pit. However, as the process was being optimized, higher grade ore was in- troduced and a recovery rate of more than 93% was reached at the end of the period. The Boungou mine began processing ore at the end of May and achieved its first gold pour on June 28. During the pre-com- mercial period from June to end of August, Boungou produced 12,000 ounces (oz) of gold. In 2018, the Boungou mine is expect- ed to produce between 60,000 and 70,000 oz of gold in commercial production. Currently, the stockpile holds more than 300,000 mt of ore. Mining is ramp- ing up in the starter pit, which contains the highest-grade reserves. Furthermore, Boungou's water storage facilities hold 2 million cubic meters of water, more than enough to maintain operations until the next rainy season. As of December 31, 2017, mineral reserves at Boungou stood at 11.2 mil- lion mt at 4.11 g/mt Au for 1.5 million oz of gold. Initial results from the $9 mil- lion 2018 exploration program on Boun- gou have confirmed the occurrence of gold-bearing mineralization at the nearby Osaanpalo and Baali Zones. Improvements at the Yanfolila mine in Mali will increase processing capacity by 24%.

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