The Sanbrado Gold Project is located approximately 90km east-southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.  The Project covers an aggregate area of 116km², comprising one granted mining permit and one granted exploration licence.  WAF has a 90% interest in the Sanbrado Gold Project.  The Government of Burkina Faso has a free-carried 10% interest in the Project.  Construction of the Project commenced in late 2018 and with first gold poured March 2020, 6 months ahead schedule and US$20m under budget.

West African anticipates Sanbrado will produce between 250,000 and 280,000 ounces of gold in 2021 with adjusted operating costs of US$530 – 630/oz and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of US$720 – 800/oz. The estimated operating costs for the project highlight that the project will be a conventional, low cost and high margin operation.  This is a result of high grade ore from M1 South and the significant proportion of oxide and transition material in the mine schedule and the free milling nature of all ore types (average LOM recovery of 93%), low reagent consumption and a high component of gravity recoverable gold.

The Project comprises several open pits, all within 1-2km of the plant site, and an underground mine accessed through a box-cut and portal immediately to the south west of the M1 South open pit.  The plant comprises a conventional SABC milling circuit, gravity and carbon in leach processing with a nominal throughput capacity of 2.5Mtpa.  The Project has an mine life of 13 years.  The Sanbrado Gold Project Mineral Resources at 31 December 2020 were 81 Mt at 2.0 g/t for 5.1 Moz gold.  Ore Reserves at 31 December 2020 were 20 Mt at 2.3 g/t for 1.5 Moz gold.

For further information read the ASX announcement from 9th March 2021.

In 2020 West African acquired the Toega Gold Project from Canadian mining company B2 Gold Corporation  .  The project is located 14km from our existing Sanbrado gold operation. The deposit has a strike of over 1,200m, is up to 430m wide and has been drilled to a depth of 400m below surface. The project has an Inferred Mineral Resource comprising 22 Mt at a grade of 1.9 g/t Au for 1.3 Moz gold at a lower cutoff grade of 0.5 g/t Au.

Toega is expected to increase Sanbrado’s production profile and mine life, and West African aims to bring it into the Sanbrado mine plan within three years.   West African is undertaking a comprehensive feasibility study and permitting work program. Infill drilling at Toega commenced in Q1 2021, with other technical and permitting activities being conducted in parallel.

For further information about Toega read the ASX announcement from 29th April 2020 and 9th March 2021.

 

Mineral Resources

The Sanbrado Mineral Resource estimates were updated by independent resource consultants International Resource Solutions Pty Ltd (IRS) in accordance with JORC (2012) guidelines.  The portion of M1 South Mineral Resources termed “M1 South Deeps” was updated by Neil Silvio who is an employee of the Company.  Mineral resources have been estimated in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the ‘JORC Code’) 2012 edition.  Mineral resources have been estimated for the Project consisting of the following gold deposits: Mankarga 1 North (M1 North), Mankarga 1 South (M1 South), Mankarga 3 (M3), Mankarga 5 (M5) and the newly acquired Toega deposit, which now forms part of the Sanbrado Gold Operation.

Table – Sanbrado Mineral Resources at 31 December 20201

The Company’s 2020 gold resources have increased 65% since the previous estimate in 2019 (ASX: 16/4/2019).

Figure – Sanbrado Mineral Resources growth since 2014

A summary of the Mineral Resources by individual deposit is shown in the Table below.

Table – Sanbrado Mineral Resources by deposit, 31 December 2020

An Inferred Mineral Resource has a lower level of confidence than an Indicated Mineral Resource and there is no certainty that further exploration work will result in the conversion of the material into an Indicated Mineral Resource.

 

Competent Persons and Qualified Persons Statement

Information in this announcement that relates to mineral resources (excluding M1 South Deeps) is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared by Mr Brian Wolfe, an independent consultant specialising in mineral resource estimation, evaluation, and exploration.  Mr Wolfe is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.  Mr Wolfe has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person (or “CP”) as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.  Mr Wolfe has reviewed the contents of this announcement and consents to the inclusion in this announcement of all technical statements based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.

Information in this announcement that relates to mineral resources for the M1 South Deeps is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared by Mr Neil Silvio, an employee and Resource Geologist of the Company.  Mr Silvio is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.  Mr Silvio has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person (or “CP”) as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.  Mr Silvio has reviewed the contents of this announcement and consents to the inclusion in this announcement of all technical statements based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.

Information in this announcement that relates to open pit ore reserves is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared by Mr Stuart Cruickshanks, a fulltime employee of the Company.  Mr Cruickshanks is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.  Mr Cruickshanks has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person (or “CP”) as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.  Mr Cruickshanks has reviewed the contents of this announcement and consents to the inclusion in this announcement of all technical statements based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.

Information in this announcement that relates to underground ore reserves is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared by Mr Andrew Fox, an independent specialist mining consultant.  Mr Fox is a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.  Mr Fox has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person (or “CP”) as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.  Mr Fox has reviewed the contents of this announcement and consents to the inclusion in this announcement of all technical statements based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.