Australian gold company Perseus Mining has released initial mineral resource and ore reserve estimates for its Yaouré gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa.
Perseus’s findings show an indicated mineral resource of 43.1 million tonnes with a grade of 1.39 grams per tonne of gold, and an independent estimation of 1.93 million ounces of gold in total at a cut-off grade of 0.4 grams per tonne. Estimated inferred resources total 46 million tonnes of material grading at 1 gram per tonne of gold, also at a cut-off grade of 0.4 grams per tonne and with an average gold price of $US1200 ($1555) per ounce.
The Yaouré project involves mining and processing ore from two adjacent open pits (named Yaouré and CMA), as well as oxide heap leach material.
It is a project with an extensive history; between 1999 and 2001, oxide resources were largely depleted by previous operator Compagnie Minière d’Afrique (CMA), which mined 1.9 million tonnes of ore over this period, mostly from the CMA pit which took its name from the company.
Later, between 2008 and 2011, operator Cluff Gold (which later became Amara and was last year merged into Perseus) mined a further 2.1 million tonnes of ore from the region, recovering nearly 55,000 ounces of gold, mostly from the Yaouré pit (the CMA pit by this point was being utilised more for backfill).
Perseus believes mine life can be extended beyond its current 8.5 year estimate through near-pit drilling and exploration of surrounding areas. Perseus’s feasibility study estimates capital costs of $US263 million ($341 million).