Modern Mining February 2019
February 2019 Vol 15 No 2 www.crown.co.za M ODERN MINING IN THIS ISSUE… Kalahari copper project races ahead Kamoa-Kakula – an emerging copper giant
De Beers Group upbeat on Africa Review – Mining Indaba 2019
MODERN M I N I N G
COVER 18 Flagship Volvo excavator carves out market share COPPER 22 T3 copper project nears a development decision 26 Kamoa-Kakula could grow to an 18 Mt/a operation DIAMONDS 30 De Beers Group upbeat on its future in Africa EVENTS 34 Positive mood pervades Mining Indaba 2019
Editor Arthur Tassell Advertising Manager Bennie Venter e-mail: email@example.com Design & Layout
Darryl James Circulation Brenda Grossmann Publisher Karen Grant
Deputy Publisher Wilhelm du Plessis Printed by: Shumani Mills Communications
The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Published monthly by: Crown Publications cc P O Box 140, Bedfordview, 2008 Tel: (+27 11) 622-4770 Fax: (+27 11) 615-6108 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.modernminingmagazine.co.za
REGULARS MINING NEWS 4
A strong Q4 tops off a good year for Endeavour
5 6 7 9
Elikhulu boosts Pan African’s production
Trial mining in progress at Esaase
DRA and SENET enter into merger agreement
Acacia’s full year production beats guidance 10 Lucara investigates underground mine at Karowe 11 Mako puts in a strong first year performance 12 Record tonnages milled at New Luika 13 DRC cobalt producer joins the Cobalt Institute 14 Keras starts trucking ore from Nayega 14 AfriTin Mining to modify Uis Pilot Plant 15 JG Afrika helps give Leeuwpan a new lease on life 16 Mothae diamond plant comes on stream 17 Ghanaian gold project hits one million ounce mark PRODUCT NEWS 40 Revolutionary X-ray technology finds gold faster 41 Dragline boom repaired in record time 42 Epiroc anchors down on safety 43 Thermoplastic materials differentiate SAFi range 44 Chute mechanism saves costs at diamond mine 45 Grindex Bravo pumps are versatile and durable 46 Cavex® hydrocyclones improve plant efficiencies 46 Dry-type transformers delivered to tin project 47 Multotec brings value of spirals to more minerals 48 Screen specialist has cross-commodity footprint
Publisher of the Year 2018 (Trade Publications)
Cover A Volvo EC950E excavator in action. Flagship of the Volvo crawler excava- tor range, the EC950E is available in Southern Africa from Babcock. See page 18 for further details of this machine and others in the Volvo line-up.
Average circulation (July–September 2018) 5072
February 2019 MODERN MINING 1
Will Namibia benefit from a better uranium price?
I must say I was surprised to read re- cently that uranium was one of the top performing commodities in 2018, with the spot price increasing from around US$21/lb at the beginning of the year to US$28,50/lb at the end. An interesting ques- tion to ask is what this means for Namibia, which is the only significant uranium produc- er in the Southern African region. As many readers will recall, 10 to 15 years ago Namibia was experiencing a uranium boom, occasioned by the fact that the ura- nium price was going through the roof, hitting an incredible high of US$136/lb in 2007. An almost endless number of projects seemed to be in development in Namibia’s uranium ‘belt’ to the east of Swakopmund, many of them owned by Canadian and Australian mining juniors but with major companies such as France’s Areva (now rebranded as Orano) also participating in the race to get new mines into production. When the boom started, Namibia only had one producing uranium mine. This was Rössing, which was commissioned in 1976 and which is still running today although its major- ity owner, Rio Tinto, is in the process of selling its 68,62 % stake to China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC). It ranks as the longest- running open-pit uranium mine in the world and has reputedly produced more uranium than any other uranium mine globally. Remarkably, it recently reported a good performance in 2018 with production increasing by 17 % over 2017. Rössing was joined by Paladin’s Langer Heinrich mine in late 2006. Expanded several times to increase its annual capacity to around 5 Mlb of U 3 O 8 , it was placed on care and main- tenance in August last year due to the sustained low uranium price. Paladin has more recently reported that it has embarked on a concept study (to be followed by a PFS) to optimise the mine in preparation for a restart decision if and when the uranium price improves. Another mine that was partially commis- sioned was Trekkopje, owned by Orano, which went into a pilot phase of operation (the ‘Mini’ project) in 2009 which was followed by a sec- ond phase (the ‘Midi’ project). Phase 3, the full production phase designed to produce 3 000 t/a, never materialised and the mine was mothballed in 2013. One mine developed during this period, however, has gone right through to production. This is Husab (which was originally known as the Rössing South project). Husab was acquired by China Guandong Nuclear Power Corporation
(CGN) from the original developer, Extract Resources, in 2012 for a mammoth US$2,4 bil- lion. The mine went into construction in 2013 and the first uranium oxide was drummed at the end of 2016. Swakop Uranium, the in-country operator of the mine, is not particularly forthcoming with information on the mine’s performance but the ramp-up has apparently been somewhat slower than expected. According to a recent report in ‘The Namibian’, however, the mine is aiming to produce 5 000 tonnes of U 3 O 8 in 2019. This is huge but is nevertheless below the mine’s design capacity of 6 500 t/a. So to sum up, the current state of uranium mining in Namibia is that there are two mines in production, a couple of operations on care and maintenance, and several advanced proj- ects waiting in the wings, with probably the pick of them being Bannerman’s Etango project, which has a completed Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in place. According to the study, Etango has the capacity to produce 7,2 Mlb (approximately 3 265 tonnes) of uranium oxide a year over its life. The only problem is that average life-of-mine cash operating cost would be US$38/lb U 3 O 8 , which is way above the cur- rent spot price. Overall, Namibia’s uranium mining indus- try is not a total disaster, thanks mainly to Chinese investment, but it could be a whole lot better if the upward move in the price we’ve seen in recent months were to continue. What are the chances of this happening? As far as I can make out, there is very little consensus on this and even the recently released 27th edition of ‘Uranium – Resources, Production and Demand’ (also known as the ‘Red Book’), which is prepared by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), provides little guidance (despite running to over 400 pages). Also worth pointing out is that while a moderate increase in the uranium price would ease the pressures on operating mines it would probably not be sufficient to lead to a renewed phase of mine development. Indeed, some industry insiders believe that current prices would have to more than double to make new mine construction viable. An increase of this magnitude seems highly unlikely in the short to medium term so my guess is that most of the current projects in the pipeline in Namibia will have to wait a few more years yet before being developed. Arthur Tassell
Rössing recently reported a good performance in 2018 with production increasing by 17 % over 2017, a result of higher milling grades.
February 2019 MODERN MINING 3
A recent night view of the Ity CIL plant (photo: Endeavour Mining).
A strong Q4 tops off a good year for Endeavour ahead of schedule with the dry plant com- missioning completed and the first gold pour expected in early Q2-2019. Major milestones achieved to date include more than 7millionman-hours worked with zero lost-time injuries.
“2019 is expected to be another strong year as we look forward to the first gold pour at the Ity CIL plant in early Q2, where construction continues to progress ahead of schedule and on budget. Meanwhile, we will maintain an aggressive exploration programme to build on the significant suc- cess achieved thus far. “Over the past two years, we have dili- gently worked to transform our portfolio, investing nearly US$1 billion into the busi- ness. Once Ity CIL commences production, we expect to enter a period of sustained strong free cash flow generation with a continued focus on return on capital employed. In line with this approach, we have optimised our business plans with a greater emphasis on free cash flowmetrics and intend to release working capital from the available low-grade stockpiles. “2019 is a pivotal year as the efforts we have made thus far are expected to generate significant growth in 2020 and beyond – Ity CIL will benefit from a full- year’s production and Houndé from the newly discovered high-grade Kari Pump deposit,” he said
TSX-listed Endeavour Mining, which oper- ates several gold mines in West Africa including the new Houndé mine in Burkina Faso, has announced its preliminary finan- cial and operating results for the fourth quarter (Q4-2018) and full year 2018 (FY-2018). Production for Q4-2018 was up 25 % over Q3-2018 to 174 koz and AISC down 13 % to approximately US$745/oz. FY-2018 production was up 52 % over the prior year to 612 koz, beating the top end of the 555‑590 koz guidance, while AISC was down approximately US$30/oz over the prior year to approximately US$745/oz, well below the guidance range of US$760 – 810/oz. FY-2019 production is expected to increase to 615 – 695 koz and AISC is antici- pated to remain low at US$760 – 810/oz. Endeavour says that following the strong success achieved in 2018, explora- tion will continue to be a strong focus in 2019 with a company-wide exploration programme of US$45-50 million. The company also reports that con- struction of the 4 Mt/a Ity CIL project in Côte d’Ivoire is progressing on-budget and
Ity is expected to produce 160 – 200 koz in 2019 at an AISC of US$525 – 590/oz, with the bottom-end production guid- ance corresponding to the nameplate capacity while the top-end factors in pos- sible upsides such as an earlier start date, a quicker than expected ramp-up and the plant producing above its nameplate. “Our strong performance across all of our mines in Q4 capped a successful year for Endeavour during which we beat our production guidance and ended with AISC lower than the guided range while main- taining a strong safety record,” comments Sébastien de Montessus, President and CEO of Endeavour. “The first full-year contribution from Houndé, coupled with the successful man- agement of our portfolio, have sustainably decreased our all-in sustaining costs to below our strategic target of US$800/oz.
4 MODERN MINING February 2019
Elikhulu boosts Pan African’s production
with a 900 m strike and 150 m down dip extension. The total mineral resource is now 0,76 Moz (8,97 Mt at 2,62 g/t) compris- ing the near surface resource of 0,37 Moz (5,85 Mt at 1,96 g/t) and the underground mineral resource of 0,39 Moz (3,12 Mt at 3,87 g/t). “We have a demonstrable record of replenishing our mineral resources through effective exploration and look to organic growth projects, such as Royal Sheba, to further enhance the sustain- ability of the group´s operations and to continue to deliver attractive returns to all our stakeholders.”
In an operational update for the six months ended 31 December 2018, Pan African Resources, listed on AIM and the JSE, reports that its new Elikhulu Tailings Retreatment Plant contributed 15 292 oz of incremental low-cost ounces during the reporting period. Pan African’s total gold production for the period was 81 014 oz, a 54,2 % increase over the equivalent period in 2017, with Barberton Mines contributing 50 556 oz, a 24,5 % increase on the prior year’s figure. Elikhulu, located at Evander in Mpumalanga, was successfully commis- sioned ahead of schedule and within budget, and reached nameplate through- put capacity in October 2018. The incorporation of the existing Evander Tailings Retreatment Plant (ETRP) throughput capacity of 0,2 Mt per month into Elikhulu was completed in December 2018, which increased Elikhulu´s process- ing capacity to 1,2 Mt per month. Elikhulu processed 3,53 Mt in the four months fromSeptember 2018 toDecember 2018 at a recovered grade of 0,135 g/t. Optimisation of the enlarged Elikhulu is continuing, with the full 1,2 Mt of through- put expected from February 2019. Pan African CEO Cobus Loots com- mented: “The operational and safety performance during the current report- ing period demonstrates the progress in repositioning our group as a low-cost, long-life producer, with the safety of our employees and contractors always being of paramount importance. “We are very pleased with the com- missioning of Elikhulu during the period under review, notwithstanding the chal- lenges associated with delivering a project of this magnitude and complexity on time and within budget. We now look forward
to Elikhulu´s growing contribution to the group´s results in forthcoming reporting periods. “In the period ahead, management will continue to focus on further improv- ing our mining operations. The group remains on track to produce 170 000 oz for the full financial year to 30 June 2019,” he continued. “As previously communicated, the drill- ing programme on Barberton Mines´ Royal Sheba prospect was completed, indicating a near surface mineral resource of 0,37 Moz
The Elikhulu Tailings Retreatment Plant at Evander (photo: Arthur Tassell).
Updated resource estimate for Malian project Canada’s IAMGOLD Corporation has announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) on its 100 %-owned Diakha- Siribaya gold project, located inwesternMali. The MRE comprises 18 Mt of indicated resources averaging 1,28 g/t gold for 744 000 ounces and a further 23,2 Mt of inferred resources averaging 1,58 g/t gold for 1,2 million ounces.
sion of inferred resources to an indicated category,” says Craig MacDougall, Senior Vice President, Exploration for IAMGOLD. “Our exploration success at Diakha, cou- pled with the recently announced results of our feasibility study across the border at our nearby Boto gold project in Senegal, contin- ues to demonstrate the exploration upside of our very prospective land holdings in this region of West Africa. My congratulations are extended to the exploration teams on the ground for their outstanding discovery successes.”
“Our delineation drilling programme completed over the last two years has not only resulted in a significant increase in resource ounces, but a substantial conver-
February 2019 MODERN MINING 5
Trial mining in progress at Esaase A view of the Esaase site, where trial mining is now underway (photo: Asanko Gold).
as the geotechnical, hydrogeological and metallurgical design parameters have also been re-evaluated, incorporating recent production data from the bulk sampling and trial mining operation. This, together with the updated mineral resource and reserve estimates, will result in an updated LoM plan that will confirm the optimal ore transportation solution and associated cap- ital cost that will form the basis of the 2019 long-term development plan for Esaase. This will be presented to the JV partners for a development decision in Q2-2019. “The large-scale Esaase deposit pro- vides an exciting near-term organic growth opportunity for the business,”com- ments Peter Breese, Asanko’s President and CEO. “Ahead of a decision by the JV part- ners on the full-scale development plan in Q2-2019, it was appropriate to undertake a bulk sampling and trial mining operation and use the production and technical data to augment the updated Life of Mine plan. “We are very encouraged by the results from the bulk sample and the trial mining so far, with the oxides performing well in the mill; throughput is exceeding expec- tations and gold recovery is in line with current levels experienced from other feed sources.”
Asanko Gold Inc (Asanko), listed on the TSX and NYSE American, has provided an update on the development of the Esaase project, which forms part of the multi- pit Asanko Gold Mine (AGM), located in Ghana. The AGM is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Gold Fields which is managed and operated by Asanko. Esaase is a large-scale permitted green- fields deposit located approximately 27 km from the processing facility. A bulk sample was mined and processed through the central processing facility during Q4-2018, with the Esaase material performing above expectations. The trial mining operation, which commenced in January 2019 and will continue until the end of June 2019, is focused on mining the surface oxides of the deposit. Mining is restricted to day shift only, with minimal blasting, and the material is being trucked to the processing facility via the newly commissioned haul road. Mining rates are expected to approxi- mate 350 000 – 400 000 tonnes per month during this period. Pre-production capital is estimated at US$18 million, of which US$11 million has been spent up
to December 2018, and consists of initial infrastructure, mobilisation of the mining contractor, initial mining works and the construction of a section of haul road to connect Esaase to the existing AGM haul road network. In 2017, Asanko published a Definitive Feasibility Study for the AGM, which included the development of Esaase and envisaged an overland conveyor to trans- port the ore from Esaase to the processing facility as part of the Project 5 Million (P5M) growth project. The Esaase mine, overland conveyor and the haul road are permitted. Following the JV transaction with Gold Fields, which was concluded in July 2018, the JV partners undertook a detailed review of the proposed Esaase develop- ment plan and associated long-term ore transportation solution. This included a programme of in-fill reverse circulation drilling and re-logging of historical core which has helped to better understand the geological controls to mineralisation. All the new data is being compiled into updated mineral resource and reserve estimates. In addition, other technical aspects such
6 MODERN MINING February 2019
DRA and SENET enter into merger agreement
panies will retain brand autonomy and operational independence, while leveraging value enhancing capabilities. “Although our team of professionals continues to grow, our purpose remains the same – to create tangible value for clients through excellence in project delivery, asset optimi- sation and operations management.” SENET’s MD, Darren Naylor, added “The merger of our two companies just makes good business sense, and we are excited by the prospects and many ben- efits for the industry at large. “The similar corporate cultures, syn- ergies and the potential to create an
Global engineering, project delivery and operations management group DRA has entered into a merger agreement with SENET, a leading African project manage- ment and engineering firm, to create one of the largest project delivery and opera- tions management companies on the continent. SENET specialises in mineral processing project delivery and has successfully deliv- ered gold, copper, cobalt, uranium, and iron ore projects throughout Africa. The merger in Africa continues DRA’s international growth and significantly strengthens its service offering across min- ing, project delivery (EPC and EPCM) and process plant operations andmaintenance. The merger transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions and appli- cable regulatory approvals, and is expected to complete towards the end of Q1 2019. The combined DRA and SENET will have in excess of 3 000 employees in Africa, making the combined business one of the largest project delivery and operations management businesses on the conti- nent, further enhancing the group’s ability to effectively compete on the global stage. Wray Carvelas, CEO of DRA Global, com- mented: “The merger of DRA and SENET in Africa is a logical fit that will bring together two exceptionally successful companies, with complementary skill sets. The merger will bolster the offering to clients in the African projects market and across our global geographies. “It is our intention to enhance our deliv- ery to clients through this merger and, as such, current and future projects will benefit from the strength SENET brings to the Group. We envisage that the com-
Darren Naylor, MD of SENET. Wray Carvelas, CEO of DRA Global. engineering group that can offer bespoke client solutions on a global scale, yet still specifically target clients with assets in Africa, will undoubtedly present a formida- ble option for mining clients of all sizes.”
Australia’s Birimian appoints newMD ASX-listed Birimian, which is developing the Goulamina lithium project in Mali, has appointed Chris Evans as Managing Director. He is an experienced project delivery and operational management expert who was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Altura Mining where he was responsible for all aspects of project development, con- struction and bringing into operation the Pilgangoora lithium mine.
Comments Mark Hepburn, CEO and Exec utive Director of Birimian: “One of the key goals of the new board has been to appoint a Managing Director of the calibre of Chris Evans. We are thrilled that he has elected to join Birimian and that he shares our enthusi- asmand vision for our world class Goulamina lithium project. With Mr Evans’ very recent experience in building a producing lithium operation from the ground up, we see him as the ideal candidate to step into the role of Managing Director of Birimian as Goulamina moves into the development phase. I’m con- fident our shareholders will be extremely pleased with his appointment.”
Evans has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with Honours and a Master of Engineering Science in Construction Management from the University of New South Wales.
February 2019 MODERN MINING 7
Acacia’s full year production beats guidance
London-listed Acacia Mining, which operates the North Mara, Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi gold mines in north-west Tanzania (and whose operations in the country have been impacted by a long- running tax dispute with the Tanzanian government), produced 130 581 ounces of gold during Q4-2018, bringing total pro- duction for the year to 31 December 2018 to 521 980 ounces. “This is substantially ahead of our ini- tial production guidance for the year of 435 000 to 475 000 ounces. I am proud of the resilience, hard work and dedica- tion shown by our people in realising this achievement despite a challenging operat- ing environment. Over the last 12 months we have focused on successfully stabilising the business, including a return to free cash flow generation in Q2, and I am pleased to report that we end the year with a net cash balance of US$88million,”said Peter Geleta, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Acacia. According to Geleta, full year produc- tion was ahead of expectations, although 32 % lower than 2017 due to the transi- tion to reduced operations at Bulyanhulu and to stockpile processing at Buzwagi. Gold production in 2018 benefitted from the higher grade ore received from the
The underground mine at North Mara, which is a combined open-pit and underground operation from two deposits, Gokona (underground) and Nyabirama (open pit). North Mara produced 84 079 oz during Q4 (photo: Acacia).
mance of the Buzwagi processing plant with improved throughput and recover- ies. Also contributing was the favourable performance from tailings processing at Bulyanhulu.
Nyabirama open pit at North Mara, the extended mining of the final cut of the higher grade ore at the bottom of the pit and switchbacks at Buzwagi combined with the better than expected perfor-
Mupane reports its best annual output since 2013 Galane Gold, listed on the TSX-V, reports that it produced 35 528 ounces of gold at its Mupane property near Francistown in Botswana during 2018, which represents its best annual output since 2013.
“Work is still ongoing at Galaxy with first production still expected in April 2019. Production at Galaxy will ramp up slowly in line with the current mine plans so that the full capacity of the new plant will only be filled in 2020. With both operations run- ning in 2019, we are targeting a combined production in excess of 40 000 ounces with over 8 000 of such ounces coming from Galaxy.”
Barberton in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province. Galane acquired Galaxy Gold in November 2015. “This represents a strong year for the Mupane operations with production from Tau underground contributing to excep- tional operating results,” comments Galane Gold’s CEO, Nick Brodie.
The company is also working to revive the Galaxy gold mine (known in the past as the Agnes mine) situated 6 km west of
February 2019 MODERN MINING 9
Evening view of the Karowe mine’s processing plant (photo: Lucara).
Canada’s Lucara Diamond Corp has pro- vided an update on the ongoing Feasibility Study (FS) for a potential underground operation at its 100 %-owned and oper- ated Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. In 2018, following the release of a posi- tive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), Lucara embarked on a US$29 mil- lion technical programme to support a Feasibility Level study for a potential under- ground operation at Karowe, with the aim of extending mine life from 2026 to at least 2036. This programme included a mineral resource update, geotechnical drilling of the country rock and AK06 kimberlite, hydrogeological drilling and modelling, and mining trade-off studies to address risks and issues identified during the PEA. JDS Energy andMining Incorporated has been appointed to lead the feasibility study. A total of US$23 million was spent out of a 2018 budget of US$29 million in support of this work and has resulted in significant de-risking of the key technical Lucara investigates underground mine at Karowe
components associated with the potential underground development. Comments Eira Thomas, Lucara’s CEO: “The updated mineral resource com- pleted in 2018 highlighted the important contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological unit as we mine deeper in the south lobe and has necessar- ily re-focused our approach to the Karowe Underground study. Historically, we now know that the EM/PK(S) has produced some of Karowe’s most valuable diamonds, including the 1 109-carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813-carat Constellation . “In 2019 we will be evaluating various mining scenarios that have the potential to access this valuable ore as early as pos- sible in the underground mining schedule. Other highlights from our 2018 work programme included the successful com- pletion of a deep hydrogeological drilling campaign, which did not encounter signifi- cant water and has substantially de-risked the overall underground project. “Finally, we are delighted to be wel- coming Gord Doerksen and JDS to the feasibility team to direct the study and provide Lucara with a fit-for-purpose underground mine design that will work to optimise and maximise the economic returns of the underground project. The feasibility study will be completed in the second half of 2019.”
Significant assay results from uranium project Global Atomic Corporation, listed on the TSX-V, has reported assay results from four holes drilled in 2018 at its DASA uranium project in Niger. All four holes have returned substantially higher assay grades than previ- ously reported probe results.
under-estimated previously released DASA drill results,” comments Stephen G. Roman, President and CEO of Global Atomic. “Based on existing probe data, we knew that DASA was a significant uranium deposit; how- ever, the grades and widths reported here will enhance the resource figures already announced and we will calculate an updated Mineral Resource Estimate as soonas all assays are received from the 2018 drill programme.” Global Atomic Corporation is a TSX Venture listed company providing a combina- tion of high grade uraniumdevelopment and cash flowing zinc concentrate production. The DASA deposit is situated on the Adrar Emoles III concession and was discovered in 2010 by Global Atomic geologists through grassroots field exploration.
Highlights include a significant high grade intersection of 17 118 ppm U 3 O 8 (1,71 %) returned over 98 m in ASDH563, 135 % higher than the previous probe-only estimate of 7 277 ppm e U 3 O 8 . The laboratory assay limit of 17,62 % U 3 O 8 was exceeded over an interval of 3,5 m from 235,5 m to 239,0 m in ASDH563. In addition, ASDH543 intersected 6 919 ppm (0,69 %) U 3 O 8 over 75 m, approximately 37 % higher than the prior probe estimate of 5 041 ppm e U 3 O 8 . “These assay results indicate the probe
10 MODERN MINING February 2019
Mako puts in a strong first year performance
In its unaudited results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018, Toro Gold, a pri- vate gold producer, reports that its Mako gold mine in eastern Senegal produced 156 926 ounces of gold during the year, 17 % above forecast. Mako is a new mine which poured its first gold on 26 January 2018. It was offi- cially inaugurated on 17 November 2018 by Macky Sall, President of Senegal. The ceremony was attended by the Mining and Environment ministers, the British Ambassador, the Mayor of the host Com mune of Tomboronkoto and a number of local and regional government stakeholders. Some 1,8 Mt at 2,94 g/t Au (forecast was 1,7 Mt at 2,77 g/t Au) of ore were processed
Senegalese and over 60 % are from the local Kedougou region. “In parallel with our social programmes, conservation work in respect of the Niokola-Koba National Park has progressed well in conjunction with our partners at the Senegalese National Parks Department and NGO Panthera. “During the second half of 2018, the exploration team focused on investigat- ing the potential for mine life extensions beneath the current pit with an extensive core drilling campaign. Analysis of the results is underway and we look forward to providing an update during Q1-2019 on the potential impacts on both the mine resources and reserves.”
during the reporting period and metal- lurgical recoveries of 95,5 % achieved, as against a forecast of 92 %. The AISC was below US$700/oz compared to a budget of US$789/oz. “I am delighted to report on an excel- lent first year of operations at the Mako gold mine. Following a successful com- missioning, the mine has consistently delivered into and beaten its operational targets while retaining a focus on safety,” comments Martin Horgan, Toro’s CEO. “We continue to meet our Environ mental and Social commitments and are working in close collaboration with local communities – we are delighted to note that some 90 % of the work force are
The pit at the Mako gold mine in Senegal (photo: Toro Gold).
February 2019 MODERN MINING 11
The New Luika Gold Mine in the Lupa goldfield of Tanzania. The plant milled a record 639 679 tonnes during FY-2018 (photo: Shanta).
Record tonnages milled at New Luika
NLGM processing plant and has a prob- able reserve of 660 500 tonnes at 5,56 g/t for 118 000 oz contained. It will be the third active source of high-grade ore at NLGM A campaign to evaluate Shanta’s regional licence potential across the Lupa goldfield continued during the quarter and is now well advanced. US$3,6 million has been budgeted for exploration in 2019. A prioritisation exercise has been con- ducted, from which a target list of the 25 highest-potential prospecting licences has been identified for further exploration dur- ing 2019. This campaign is supported by engagements now in place with third party consultants who are assisting in the review of the company’s exploration portfolio. “The company set a number of all-time records in Q4 both operationally and finan- cially against a backdrop of zero LTIs for the year,” comments Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin. “Shanta’s full year EBITDA was US$45,5 mil- lion, a significant increase on last year and
resulting in net debt of US$32million being the lowest in six years. This is despite not receiving any VAT refunds in 2018 and with continued investment across our opera- tions. These results are down to a highly motivated team, disciplined cost control and careful capital allocation decisions. “Exploration remains a key priority for Shanta and we have doubled the explo- ration budget for 2019. Shanta’s drilling programme will commence in the next few months starting with Bauhinia Creek high grade underground targets.” Shanta has a 15-year track record in Tanzania and, over this period, has invested US$250 million in the country. It ranks as the third largest gold mining company in the country and has over 700 employees. Apart from New Luika, it also owns the Singida gold project in central Tanzania, which could potentially be developed into a mine with an average annual production of 26 000 ounces over an initial six-year life.
Shanta Gold, whose shares are quoted on AIM, reports that its New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM) in the Lupa goldfield of south-western Tanzania produced 23 942 of gold during the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q4), up 21 % from Q3-2018. The cash cost was US$514/oz and the AISC US$701/oz. NLGM set a new all-time record for tonnes mined from underground of 157 952 in Q4. For the full year (FY-2018), New Luika produced 81 872 oz – above guidance of approximately 80 000 oz – at a cash cost of US$538/oz and an AISC of US$731/oz, ahead of US$750/oz guidance. The mine milled 639 679 tonnes during the year, also an all-time record. Shanta reports that Ilunga under- ground pre-production development is well ahead of schedule and first develop- ment ore is now expected in March, ahead of the original mid-year 2019 target. The Ilunga deposit is located 3,5 km from the
12 MODERN MINING February 2019
DRC cobalt producer joins the Cobalt Institute
The Cobalt Institute (CI) reports it has wel- comed Metalkol RTR as a new member. Metalkol RTR is a major reprocessing plant for historic cobalt and copper tailings from previous mining operations in the Haut- Katanga Province of the DRC. A hydro-metallurgical facility owned by Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), Metalkol RTR is reportedly set to become one of the most significant producers of clean cobalt globally. At full capacity, it will be able to supply over 120 kt/a of copper cathode and 24 kt/a of cobalt, volumes sufficient to build more than three million electric vehicles per year. The project is currently nearing completion. The Cobalt Institute is a non-profit trade association composed of producers, users, recyclers and traders of cobalt; it promotes the sustainable and responsible produc- tion and use of cobalt in all its forms. According to its website, the CI – which is based in the UK – is a proactive organ- isation which represents around 70 % of
The Metalkol RTR reprocessing plant near Kolwezi in the DRC. cobalt produced worldwide and has over 60 years of experience identifying and
addressing issues of key interest for the cobalt industry sector.
Consultants appointed for Sanankoro test work Cora Gold Limited, theWest African focused gold exploration company, has appointed Wardell Armstrong International (WAI) as independent consultants to under- take a preliminary metallurgical test work programme. The programme has been designed to assess the amenability for cya- nide leach extraction of gold from oxide mineralisation at Cora’s Sanankoro gold discovery in southern Mali, which has an Exploration Target of 1-2 million ounces of gold with significant upside as inde- pendently determined by consultants SRK Consulting (UK). The test work, which will consider both
Jonathan Forster, Cora Gold’s CEO. “This programme is running in parallel with a drill programme, already underway, that is aimed at outlining areas of higher grade that may present potential starter pits for any future mining project. “Indications fromSRK’s ExplorationTarget Report that there is significant potential for oxide mineralisation at Sanankoro has guided our exploration programme which is currently focused on the exciting oxide potential at Sanankoro. We are delighted to kick off the year with an active work pro- gramme and I look forward to reporting the results of the metallurgical test work tar- geted for Q2-2019, as well as drill results as and when they become available.”
cyanide-in-leach and heap leach gold extraction technologies, will be conducted at WAI’s laboratory facilities in the UK and will use two composite samples of approxi- mately 80 kg weight each that have been recently collected from core holes drilled at the ‘Zone A’ and ‘Selin’ prospect areas at Sanankoro. Results are expected during Q2-2019. “We are pleased to appoint WAI as our independent consultants for this prelimi- nary metallurgical test work programme which is intended to provide initial guid- ance on methodology for future potential gold extraction at Sanankoro,” comments
February 2019 MODERN MINING 13
Keras Resources, listed on AIM, has com- menced the trucking of processed ore from Keras starts trucking ore from Nayega its 10 000-tonne bulk sampling metallurgi- cal test work programme at the Nayega
manganese project in northern Togo. Trucked ore is now being stockpiled at a secure site adjacent to the deep-water port of Lomé in Togo and will be transferred to the bulk material wharf when shipping commences in late February 2019. The bulk sampling programme com- menced in August last year with the aim of further understanding metallurgical test work previously conducted at the project. The current programme is fully funded by a major producer of manganese-based alloys, which aims to assess the suitability of the ore for its smelting facilities. A 20 t/h scrubber plant was commis- sioned in late December 2018 and has now reached steady state producing 230 sale- able tonnes per day. Installed mining and processing plant and equipment at Nayega has the capac- ity to produce approximately 6 500 tonnes per month of +35 % Mn ore, with recent test work results having returned grades of plus 40 %Mn, suggesting further potential upside to the operation. “The continued success of the bulk sampling programme has underpinned the significant value that we attribute to Nayega; we believe the project will form the cornerstone of Keras’ manganese business moving forward,” comments Russell Lamming, Chief Executive Officer of Keras. with the required process water. Electrical power to the operation will be provided from the existing high-volt- age supply line that currently terminates approximately 1 km from the plant process- ing site. AfriTin is now in the process of conclud- ing a supply agreement with the relevant authorities that will allow the plant to be connected to the power grid. Backup power, in the form of diesel generating sets, is also being installed at site. Phase 1 exploration commenced at the start of November 2018 with the primary goal of validating the existing historic SRK resource over the V1 and V2 pegmatites. To date, 18 of the required 26 drill holes have been completed with all finished holes being geotechnically and geologically logged directly onto a new cloud-based geodatabase system. The core will be assayed and prepared for the declaration of an initial JORC resource on the project.
The bulk sampling programme at Nayega underway (photo: Keras).
AfriTin Mining to modify Uis Pilot Plant AIM-listed AfriTin Mining, which is working to restart the Uis tin mine in Namibia, says that a decision has been taken tomodify the Phase 1 plant to add production capacity and also produce a tantalum concentrate which will add to revenues. Maiden tin and tantalum concentrate production from Phase 1 is expected in Q2-2019.
and mobilisation is expected once the con- tract has been finalised. In consultation with its engineering consultants, the company has decided to implement two additional components to the Phase 1 Pilot Plant. To increase plant throughput capacity and flexibility, a third dense medium separation (DMS) section has been procured. In addition, a magnetic separation circuit will be installed in the plant. This addition will allow the plant to produce tantalum concentrate alongside the primary tin concentrate. AfriTin says it has made significant progress in addressing the infrastructure requirements for the Phase 1 Pilot Plant and Phase 1 of production. A geohy- drological study, water drilling and test pumping programme have been com- pleted. The results of the programme have confirmed the viability of using groundwa- ter sources to supply the Phase 1 Pilot Plant
Following the start of the civil con- struction works in June 2018, AfriTin has been preparing and rehabilitating the Uis mine site for the commencement of the Phase 1 Pilot Plant commissioning and production of tin concentrate. As previ- ously announced, during December 2018 the company undertook the first large- scale blast of mining material. The primary crushing circuit was commissioned and first material was crushed and stockpiled. AfriTin is now well advanced with the procurement of mining contractor services for drilling, blasting, loading and hauling
14 MODERN MINING February 2019
JG Afrika helps give Leeuwpan a new lease on life Working closely with the client, a deci- sion was taken to incorporate precast concrete base slabs for the 11 000 m of prefabricated culverts that were installed along the routes. These elements were accurately manufactured in a factory environment and then transported to site where they were installed by Jodan Construction, obviating the need for the steel fixing and shuttering works asso- ciated with cast-in-place construction methods.
durable and resistant to permanent deformation. One of the challenges on this com- ponent of the project was co-ordinating construction activities on the private road with the extensive haulage operations of the Exxaro mine. The haul road serves many large rigid dump trucks. A semi-automated traffic and access control boomgate system was implemented for the level crossing with the public road. The road comprises a 150 mm thick base course, 200 mm sub-base layer and two selected layers, and the contractor deployed a state-of-the-art road recycler for stabilisation to provide a consistently homogenous mix with cement bags unpacked and squeegeed by hand to assist in creating jobs via labour-intensive construction practices, despite the fast pace of construction required. Meanwhile, the provincial corridor caters to high traffic volumes and this includes the many heavy commercial vehi- cles that use the road and abnormal loads that are transported to and from mines and other industries in the area. To maintain high road safety levels, the bypasses along this route were built to high pavement standards and illumi- nated with solar studs and mobile high mast lights, while extensive signage was installed on both sides of the road to alert traffic.
JG Afrika, a South African firm of consult- ing engineers, recently helped Exxaro Resources quickly redirect two roads to urgently access new coal reserves at Leeuwpan mine in Mpumalanga. The 6 km section of the provincial road R50 and a 6 km private road that services the nearby silica and quartzite mine, Thaba Chueu mine, were redirected in only eight- and-a-half months. Notably, this was at least two months ahead of the fast-track construction schedule, despite rainy weather and other circumstances that led to unforeseen delays. JG Afrika was appointed by Exxaro Resources to provide engineering design and construction supervision services for the project. “Both the contracting and engineer- ing, as well as Exxaro’s Project teams, were working to an extremely tight deadline with very little room for error,” says JG Afrika’s resident engineer, Theunie Visagie. “Our client needed to access the addi- tional 5,1 million tons of coal reserves by the end of 2018 to avoid closure in 2019. However, delays in obtaining a wayleave from the relevant provincial authority delayed the start to what was initially intended to be a 14-month construction programme. By the time that it received the necessary approvals, the contrac- tor, Jodan Construction, had also been appointed, and the mine simply could not afford further delays.”
One of the challenges of the project was working in a wetland which the new provincial and district roads traverse. A novel solution was devised to stabi- lise the bases for the 14 large 2,4 m x 3 m stormwater structures that were installed in this marshy terrain. This involved the use of a rock grid, bidim geotextile, rock fill and 19 mm and 6,4 mm aggregate. Another example of innovative thinking was the use of impact compaction rollers on as much as 80 % of the road distances to accelerate the treatment of large areas located in commercial maize farmlands. Impact rolling has the added benefit of obtaining much better levels of compac- tion at depth. Notably, the private road features a 16 mm micro surfacing, Ralumac. This is a rapid-setting, cationic-modified rubber bitumen slurry AC-E1 which is a surfacing alternative that facilitates fast construc- tion. The resulting surfacing is highly
February 2019 MODERN MINING 15
The December 2018 quarter marked an important milestone for ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond Company, listed on the ASX, with the commencement of commercial diamond recoveries at the new Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. Lucapa also operates the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. Mothae diamond plant comes on stream During the quarter, Lucapa completed construction of the 1,1 Mt/a Mothae treatment plant, which incorporates two XRT diamond recovery circuits, and com- menced the commissioning phase. This enabled the first commercial diamond recoveries to be delivered as the plant was
progressively ramped up using kimberlite material from the South East domain of the Mothae kimberlite pipe. The ramping-up phase continues to progress well, with the plant on target to be operating at nameplate capacity (90 000 tonnes/month) in Q1-2019. The targeted treatment rate of 150 t/h has been achieved for extended periods and was surpassed during December 2018. By the end of the quarter, 3 089 carats of diamonds had been recovered from the processing of 78 426 tonnes of kimberlite material from the South East domain. The diamonds recovered included six Specials (diamonds weighing >10,8 carats). These Specials included D-colour white dia- monds weighing 78 carats and 38 carats. Significantly, these recoveries pro- duced a recovered grade of 3,94 carats per 100 tonnes (cpht) for the quarter – more than double the resource and forecast grades of 1,92 cpht and 1,83 cpht respectively. ing of the deep contact below the open pit. Phase Two will continue to delineate and test the continuity and extent of the deep contact while Phase Three work will be based upon information received from Phases One and Two. This programme has been designed to add significant overall value, as well as to improve the economics of the Buckreef project. “We already know Buckreef is a great mine and it will be prosperous. The drilling of the deep contact will reveal if we have a world class mine along the lines of Bulyanhulu. We are excited,” said James E Sinclair, Executive Chairman of Tanzanian Royalty. The Buckreef gold mine redevelopment project was acquired from the Tanzanian State Mining Company (Stamico) in December 2010. Under a Heads of Agreement concluded with the state- owned company, Tanzanian Royalty has the right to earn a 55 % interest in Buckreef with Stamico holding the remainder. The project, which includes the dormant Buckreef mine, is located imme- diately to the south of Lake Victoria and 110 km south-west of Mwanza.
The new 1,1 Mt/a Mothae diamond treatment plant (photo: Lucapa).
Three-phase drill programme for Buckreef
Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation, listed on the TSX and NYSE MKT, has announced the selection of Stamico and Coreworthy to complete Phase One of the planned three-phase drill programme at its Buckreef gold property in Tanzania.
Approximately 30 000 m will be drilled in all three phases. Phase One will be approximately 4 500 m of infill drilling designed to upgrade existing inferred ounces within the proposed open pit and to begin test-
GravityWorx to provide Technical Services to Montero Montero Mining and Exploration, listed on the TSX-V, has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Gravity Worx Mining Solutions to provide Technical Services including but not limited to metallurgical and engineering consulting services for the potential development of the Uis lithium tin tailings project in Namibia. 14,4 Mt at 0,37 % lithium (Li 2 at 0,05 % tin (SnO 2
O) and 17,1 Mt
) in coarse and fine tail-
ings material. The project is located in central Namibia near the town of Uis, 220 km north of Walvis Bay, Namibia’s largest commercial deep-water port. The resource comprises unweathered surfacemine tailings of coarse sand tailings and slimes derived from the Uis tin mining operation between 1924 and 1990. The pegmatites were mined by open cut and hauled to a process plant for crush- ing and milling for cassiterite extraction. The mine historically produced 35 400 tonnes of cassiterite concentrate which delivered coarse and fine tailings material on surface. The pegmatites at Uis have not previously been mined or systematically sample assayed for lithium.
These Technical Services will be provided at no cost to Montero and will allow Gravity Worx to develop a non-binding proposal to Montero to supply a metallurgical process plant to process tailings material containing lithium and tin and operational services on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis. Gravity Worx is currently finalising a non-compliant Scoping Study on the project. The Uis lithium tin tailings project has a NI43-101 inferred mineral resource of
16 MODERN MINING February 2019
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