The Republic of Mali (‘Mali’) is Africa’s third largest gold producer. The country has been EITI-compliant since 2011 and the mining sector, as a large contributor to the GDP and prominent theme in its history, is considered a priority industry. For over 25 years, Mali has been home to international mining companies’ commercial operations and gold constitutes approximately 90% of its mineral production. All of these factors render Mali a first-rate country to operate in.
The Yanfolila Gold Mine (‘Yanfolila’), located in southern Mali, is a high-grade open pit mining operation, with underground potential, which poured first gold on time and on budget in December 2017.
The Company’s updated 31 December 2020 Mineral Resources Estimate (‘MRE’) at Yanfolila stands at 1.92Moz, with a current 7.9Mt of Reserve ore @ 2.66g/t for c. 676,000 oz of gold, with an updated Reserve Statement expected out later this year.
The carbon-in-leach process plant has a throughput capacity of 1.4Mtpa when processing a blend of ore types, which was enhanced by the secondary ball mill project in 2019. When processing 100% fresh ore, the throughput capacity has been increased from 1Mtpa to 1.24Mtpa.
There are significant Indicated Resources both within the open pit and mine inventories that are not in the current mine plan. These will be targeted for conversion to ore Reserves in the future to increase both current forecasted annual production and to extend the mine life. There is a focus on exploration and underground development to delineate new Resources and Reserves to further augment the mine plan. The Yanfolila 2021 exploration and drilling budget has been doubled from 2020 levels up to $10 million in order to achieve these outcomes.
|As at 31 December 2020||INDICATED||INFERRED||TOTAL RESOURCES|
|Deposit||Mineral Resources Code||TONNES|
|Total Mineral Resources||17,955||2.55||1,475||7,882||1.79||454||25,877||2.32||1,929|
* The mineral resources shown in the table above represent the gross resources attributable to the Project (inclusive of Government interest).
** Where the Inferred resources from Kabaya South and Badogo-Malikila are reported as Gold Fields Ltd historical mineral resources as previously reported in The Company’s MRE update of December 2015.
Complete details of each deposit’s MRE and reporting details are provided in the release dated 30 March 2021.
Our exploration strategy seeks to bring as much of the Resources, over 1Moz, that are not currently in Reserves into the mining plan at the Yanfolila Gold Mine.
We will focus primarily on the areas that we consider will have the greatest positive impact on the mine life, while also looking to discover extensional Resources within the licence area to ensure a healthy pipeline of ore Reserves.
Mali exploration and mine life extension budget being doubled from 2020 levels to US$10 million for 2021.
Sanioumale East is a basalt and mafic dyke-hosted gold deposit, situated along the highly prospective 3 km Sankarani Shear gold zone anomaly, that is a key focus exploration area for the Company.
Komana East Underground
The exploration strategy is to finalise infill drilling and further deeper hole drilling to optimise the underground potential to then bring into production under the existing Komana East operating deposit
Located along the same structure as the Guirin West deposit and hosted within meta sedimentary unit. Sanioumale West was previously drilled and modelled in the oxide zone only. Further resource growth is being targeted into the fresh and it’s extensions. Sanioumale West is the current life of mine plan and alternative processing methods are being investigated to maximise the value of its gold content.
Komana West has a 2.5km+ strike length and is currently being mined. There is exploration potential to the North and South of the current pit design, with possible underground potential.
Gonka is 5 km south of the processing plant and lies along the highly prospective Sankarani shear zone. A high grade deposit hosting 292kozs in JORC compliant resources. Open pit mining due to commence in late 2021 with further drilling and technical studies to unlock the underground potential.
Diaban and Kabaya South
Look to initiate exploration on greenfield Diaban deposit that sits to the south of existing deposits in order to add additional future deposit potential at Yanfolila. Further geological test work at Kabaya South initially, then look to potentially extend a drilling programme on the deposit, however with a focus on the above deposits more a priority.
Is approximately is a 3 kilometre wide circular coincident gold and Bismuth anomaly, drilled previously by Gold Fields Limited and Glencar Mining Plc. It is host to 2 types of mineralisation, narrow high grade vein intercepts and low grade porphyry hosted mineralisation. More interpretation and field work is required before further drilling.