Teranga Gold Corporation (TSX:TGZ; OTCQX:TGCDF) has announced that its second mine, Wahgnion Gold, West Africa’s newest mine has gone into production two months ahead of its original schedule, a feat that has seen the Canadian miner developing the mine from exploration to production in less than three years. Wahgnion, which is located in the southwest portion of Burkina Faso, West Africa, is expected to produce 30,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold in 2019.
“We are very excited to report that construction is complete and that we have achieved first gold pour at Wahgnion, two months ahead of schedule. This moves us a step closer to reaching our goal of becoming a mid-tier gold producer in West Africa,” said Richard Young, President and Chief Executive Officer who went on to add that, “We want to thank the government of Burkina Faso for their support since we purchased Wahgnion in October 2016, and to commend our entire team for taking this project from exploration to production in less than three years, ahead of the original schedule and expected to be under budget.”
“During August, we successfully commissioned the Wahgnion plant and are pleased to report that all aspects of the plant are now operational. Fine tuning will continue during September with throughput and grade expected to ramp up during the fourth quarter, in line with our guidance. Typical with commissioning, low grade ore was used to ensure the extraction process is working well before putting higher grade material into the circuit,” said Paul Chawrun, Chief Operating Officer. “We were able to start production ahead of schedule due to the dedication of our owner’s team led by Metifex, as well as our EPCM partner Lycopodium”, said Chawrun.
Commissioned in August the plant physicals are already reporting a good outlook with 117,712 tonnes of low-grade ore processed during commissioning at an average grade of 1.04 grams of gold per tonne having an average recovery rate of 94.7%. This realised 3,720 ounces of gold with 1,743 ounces poured. Mr. Chawrun added, “With safety front and centre, the commissioning phase was completed without a single lost time injury, encompassing over 5.3 million hours worked. This accomplishment reflects the hard work and dedication of all of our employees and contractors and is aligned with our commitment to responsible mining.”
Wahgnion mine has a 13-year mine life containing proven & probable mineral reserves amounting to 1.61 million ounces of gold (31.07 million ore tonnes grading 1.61 grams per tonne). The first five years of operation (2020-2024), an average annual gold production of 132,000 ounces at a mill grade of 1.83 grams per tonne. The mine is poised to have operating financials which will turn competitors green with envy include an average all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $761 per ounce. The mine has already achieved its first gold pour achieved two months ahead of original schedule with final construction costs expected to be under budget. The overall consolidated annual gold production expected to increase by 50% to 300,000-350,000 ounces in 2020.
During construction, Teranga recruited and trained more than 650 skilled workers to work at Wahgnion. Recently, the Company transitioned 70 of these employees from construction into operational roles. In addition to a smooth ramp up to commercial production. Teranga is focusing on its local social responsibility efforts, such as building new housing and providing livelihood restoration programs to some near-mine communities, including the development of irrigated agriculture, increased crop production, animal husbandry, training and support to launch small businesses, and sustainable income-generating activities for local women.
Increasing Production and Achieving Multi-jurisdictional Status at a Time of Strong Gold Prices
With Wahgnion now producing gold and Sabodala, the Company’s flagship mine in Senegal, Teranga now operates two mines in two jurisdictions. Teranga anticipates its 2020 consolidated annual production to increase to between 300,000 and 350,000 ounces. Free cash flow is expected to be used to fund Teranga’s growth plans at Wahgnion, Sabodala, and Golden Hill, the Company’s most advanced exploration property.
Wahgnion Drill Program Aimed at Future Growth
Commencing in 2020-2021, the Company plans to embark on a multi-year exploration and drilling program, which will focus on highly prospective exploration targets within trucking distance of the plant, to further optimize the mine plan and extend Wahgnion’s mine life. The current reserve estimate and mine plan include only the four initial deposits on the mine license.
About Teranga Gold Corporation.
Teranga is a multi-jurisdictional West African gold company focused on production and development as well as the exploration of approximately 6,400 km2 of land located on prospective gold belts. Since its initial public offering in 2010, Teranga has produced more than 1.8 million ounces of gold at its Sabodala operation in Senegal. Focused on diversification and growth, the Company has just undergone its first gold pour at its second gold mine, Wahgnion, which is located in Burkina Faso, as well as carrying out exploration programs in three West African countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. The Company had more than 4.1 million ounces of mineral gold reserves as of December 31, 2018. Teranga applies a rigorous capital allocation framework for its investment decisions and is focused on funding future organic growth plans responsibly.
Steadfast in its commitment to set the benchmark for responsible mining, Teranga operates in accordance with the highest international standards and aims to act as a catalyst for sustainable economic, environmental, and community development as it strives to create value for all of its stakeholders. Teranga is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact and a leading member of the multi-stakeholder group responsible for the submission of the first Senegalese Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative revenue report.
Mining Business Reporter