West African Resources has poured first gold at the Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso, with the bars weighing 23.9 kilograms.
The company completed construction and commissioning activities in all areas, passing three million hrs worked without a lost time injury (LTI).
West African Resources processed 75,000 tonnes of ore at 1.5 grams per tonne of gold through the Sanbrado plant, achieving nameplate capacity in mill throughput.
“This is a major milestone for West African Resources (WAF) and marks the beginning of a new phase in the WAF story,” company chairman Richard Hyde said.
“To successfully transition from an exploration company to a gold producer is without a doubt a great achievement for all involved.”
The Sanbrado gold project, formerly known as the Tanlouka gold project, has been referred to by West African Resources as “West Africa’s next Tier 1 gold asset”.
Open pit mining at Sanbrado has ramped up activity at both the M5 and M1 South pits.
Underground development has also continued to progress to schedule, with 1200 tonnes of ore mined and stockpiled ready for processing.
West African Resources has all the key reagents and consumables on site for up to six months of continuous gold production.
Supply levels for consumables was a concern expressed by the mining industry during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Minerals Council of Australia.
West African Resources stated there had been no positive case of coronavirus reported by staff and contractors.
“WAF executive and site management have recently undertaken a (coronavirus) risk assessment workshop on site at Sanbrado,” the company stated.
“WAF’s site management team includes key people that have worked through the Ebola crisis in Guinea in 2014-15.
“Site management have prepared an isolation block in camp for any suspected cases and have qualified medical personnel and sufficient supplies to deal with a (coronavirus) situation.”