West African Resources’ Sanbrado Gold Operations are located ~90km east-southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The company has a 90% interest in Sanbrado, with the Government of Burkina Faso holding a 10% interest (free carried). WAF poured first gold at the project in March 2020, six months ahead schedule and US$20m under budget.

Sanbrado comprises several open pits, all within 1-2km of the plant site, and an underground mine accessed through a box-cut and portal immediately south west of the M1 South open pit. Positive results of resource estimation and scoping studies have also been reported for a potential underground development beneath the M5 South open-pit. Sanbrado’s plant comprises a conventional SABC milling circuit, gravity and carbon in leach processing with a throughput capacity of 2.5Mtpa.

At the start of 2024, Sanbrado had seen ten consecutive quarters of meeting or beating guidance. The company achieved the upper end of 2023 guidance at the project, with 226,823 ounces gold produced and 2023 gold sales of 224,970 ounces.

West African acquired 90% of the Kiaka Gold Project in Burkina Faso from B2 Gold Corp and partner GAMS-Mining F&I Ltd in November 2021. The remaining 10% interest is held by the Government of Burkina Faso.

Kiaka is 45km south of West African’s flagship Sanbrado Gold Operations in Burkina Faso and about 110km southeast of the capital Ouagadougou.

Kiaka’s feasibility study confirmed it is a long-life, low-cost gold project averaging 219,000oz of gold production per annum for 18.5 years from 2025.

In June 2023, the company secured a US$265 million syndicated corporate loan facility from Sprott Resource Lending Corp and Coris Bank International SA, ensuring that the project is fully funded to production, also using existing cash and internal cash flow from Sanbrado.

Kiaka’s project build is well underway with grade control drilling set to commence during Q2 2024 ahead of pre-production mining in 2025. Kiaka remains on schedule to pour first gold in Q3 2025.

West African acquired the Toega Gold Deposit from Canadian mining company B2 Gold Corporation in 2020.

Toega is within trucking distance (14km southwest) of the company’s Sanbrado Gold Operations and will be a satellite mining operation providing 6.5 years of ore feed to the Sanbrado processing plant.

WAF’s mining licence application for the Toega Gold Deposit has been submitted and is being reviewed by the Burkina Faso government following the grant of the Environmental Permit and approval of the ESIA and RAP. While this is occurring, WAF is progressing the resettlement and compensation programs for the mining permit area and haul road.

The Toega Gold 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 Indicated & Inferred Mineral Resource of 2 Mt at 1.8 g/t Au for 1.3 Moz gold at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t Au.

The Toega open pit will commence production in H2 2025, providing a higher-grade ore source to supplement M5 North. Toega is scheduled to align its pre-production stripping costs with the start of gold production at Kiaka.

Mineral Resources

West African Resources released an updated 2024 Resources, Reserves and 10-year production outlook for its Sanbrado Gold Operations and the Kiaka Gold Project in Burkina Faso in February 2024.

Ore Reserves Update

The Ore Reserves statement is reported according to the JORC Code 2012. A gold price of US$1400/oz was used for open-pit and underground Ore Reserve estimation.

10-Year Production Outlook

WAF’s updated 10-year production target is set to average more than 400,000oz per annum from 2024 to 2033 (Figure 5, Figure 6 and Table 5). Between 2026 to 2031, WAF will average more than 450,000 oz per annum after Kiaka delivers its first full year of production. The current mine plans for Sanbrado and Kiaka continue until 2034 and 2042, respectively, based on a US$1,400/oz gold price and current drilling.

At Sanbrado, gold production averages more than 210,000 oz per annum over the 10-year mine plan. From 2026, the average ounce production increases to above 230,000 oz per annum as the Toega open pit and M5 South underground mines are introduced into the mine plan. Production from Sanbrado, when compared to the 2023 10-year mine plan, yields an additional 440,000 oz (Figure 7). The higher production is driven by the inclusion of the M5 South underground and an increase in mined tonnage and grade at M1 South. The increase in production at M1 South is attributed to better operational efficiencies from additional stoping coming online as the decline development progresses, larger equipment lifts production rates for stope bogging and backfill activities, and an increase in reserve grade due to the refinement of stope designs to reduce planned dilution. The refinement of the reserve stope shapes is supported by over 16,000m of underground diamond infill drilling completed in 2023 which has improved the definition of mineralisation boundaries at M1 South.

Inferred Mineral Resources in the mine plan include extensions below the existing M1 South underground ore reserve (M1 South Deeps), the M5 South Underground scoping study (refer ASX: 14/12/2023 “WAF delivers maiden underground resources at M5 South”) and the MV3 open pit mining inventory which consists of Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources contained within a preliminary pit design. The M1 South Deeps Inferred Mineral Resources included in the mine plan extends from the 1595 mRL to the 1250 mRL (695m to 1040m below surface level).

The M1 South Deeps, M5 South Underground and MV3 Inferred Mineral Resources have a low level of geological confidence and there is no certainty that further resource exploration work will result in the determination of indicated mineral resources or that the production target itself will be realised and if so to what extent. The MV3 and M5 South Underground Indicated Resources have not been converted to Ore Reserves as work to determine the modifying factors to a feasibility level is ongoing.

The production target is based on a combination of Ore Reserves, Indicated Mineral Resources and Inferred Mineral Resources (83% Ore Reserves, 4% Indicated Mineral Resources and 13% Inferred Mineral Resources) for the next 10 years. Potential production from Indicated Mineral Resources and Inferred Mineral Resources is not significant in the early years of the 10-year production target and is not determinative of the project viability.

The Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves underpinning the production target were prepared by Competent Persons in accordance with the JORC Code 2012.