Gold explorer West African Resources is ready to start development of the Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa after securing $US200 million ($275 million) in funding.
The Perth-based company expects to achieve first gold production at the $US185 million project in the September quarter of 2020.
West African received the $US200 million (around $278 million) debt facility from Taurus Funds Management.
The company also launched a $43 million institutional placement that was quickly fulfilled this morning. The placement will see West African issue roughly 172.7 million new shares for 25 cents each.
In addition, the company has launched a further $5 million share purchase plan (SPP) for retail shareholders.
The 25-cent share price represents a significant discount on a previous raising in May, where West African received $35 million from investors via a single-tranche placement of 109.4 million shares at 32 cents per share.
West African used those funds for pre-development facilities, including camp upgrades and the acceleration of drilling at Sanbrado’s M1 South and M5 deposits
“The award of the US$200 million debt mandate to Taurus follows a thorough competitive process involving technical due diligence, site visits and detailed negotiations,” West African Resources managing director Richard Hyde said.
“We have one of the best undeveloped gold projects globally, an experienced project build team and we now are now fully funded and looking forward to getting Sanbrado into production in the second half of 2020.”
The Sanbrado gold project — formerly known as the Tanlouka gold project — is split across four main deposits and has been referred to by West African as “West Africa’s next Tier 1 gold asset”.
It hosts total indicated resources of 39.6 million tonnes at an average 1.8 grams of gold per tonne for 2.35 million ounces.
In addition, the project’s inferred resources stand at 13.85 million tonnes at an average 1.2 grams of gold per tonne for 550,000 ounces.