Ausdrill bolsters African portfolio through Sanbrado contract

Box cut development for underground access at Sanbrado. Image: West African Resources

Ausdrill subsidiary, African Mining Services (AMS) has been selected as the open-pit mining contractor for West African Resources’ Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

AMS and West African Resources are in the process of finalising the contract terms, which is expected to generate around $235 million in revenue under a schedule of rates contract.

This will include the provision of an optional deferred payment arrangement for up to $US10 million ($14.8 million).

AMS expects to commence works at the Sanbrado project in early 2020. The company will undertake a full suite of open pit mining services including site preparation, drill and blast, load and haul and maintenance works over a five-year term.

AMS anticipates it will employ approximately 190 personnel at the project, with the workforce to be predominately local, and to use a mix of new and existing equipment to deliver on the project.

Ausdrill group managing director Mark Norwell said a key focus of the company has been to enhance surface operations in Africa and target growth opportunities across a range of commodities in African countries.

“Being selected as preferred contractor at the Sanbrado gold project is a significant achievement and represents the excellent progress we are making in building on the suite of quality projects on which AMS operates in the region,” he said.

Ausdrill surface chief executive officer Scott Winter also said the company will draw on its “leading expertise in open pit contract mining to deliver on this exciting new gold project for West African Resources.”

Sanbrado is the highest margin gold project in construction in West Africa, being on target for approximately 300,000 ounces of gold in the first 12 months of production, according to West African Resources managing director Richard Hyde.

“We look forward to partnering with AMS to bring this fully funded project into production in mid-2020,” Hyde concluded.

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