Fortuna has in the second quarter of 2022, continued their solid performance in the West African operations. At the Séguéla gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire, despite the challenges seen in the supply and logistics markets, construction activities are progressing on-time and on-budget with the overall project progress reported at 64% complete as of June 30th. Major equipment packages have started to arrive at site and first gold pour is projected for mid-2023.
Fortuna is advancing its organizational infrastructure in Côte d’Ivoire to prepare for the start of operations at Séguéla, as well as establishing a regional office to service both Séguéla and the Yaramoko Mine. Gold production on target to meet the upper range of annual guidance at the Yaramoko Mine, in Burkina Faso. The mine produced 24,553 oz of gold in the second quarter of 2022 with an average gold head grade of 5.42 g/t, which is in line with the mining sequence and Mineral Reserve estimate. Gold production for the first six months of 2022 totaled 52,788 oz.
At the Lindero Mine in Argentina, gold production was 29,016 oz, representing a 49% increase year-over-year. Higher gold production is explained by an increase in performance of the three-stage crushing and stacking circuits, which delivered 99% of the 1.5 Mt of ore placed on the pad in the quarter, compared to 46% or 0.7 Mt of the 1.47 Mt placed in the comparable quarter a year ago. Mine production was 2.2 Mt of mineralized material with a strip ratio of 1:1.
In the second quarter of 2022, a total of 1.5 Mt of ore were placed on the leach pad, averaging 0.74 g/t gold and containing 35,784 oz of gold. During the second quarter, the operation was successful at mitigating and reducing the production shortfall of ore placed on the leach pad experienced in the first quarter by 50%. The operation continues delivering a strong performance aligned with annual guidance. Gold production for the first six months of 2022 totaled 59,084 oz.
As part of the continuous measures to improve productivity, management has implemented various high impact optimization initiatives to capture efficiencies at both the processing plant and the mining operation, some of which were implemented during the second quarter.
These initiatives include: the optimization of cyanide recovery at the SART plant to significantly reduce fresh make-up cyanide consumption; lowering the consumption of sulfuric acid at the SART plant, whilst maintaining its efficiency rate and copper balance; and optimizing the mining strategy by implementing additional temporary ramps to significantly decrease trucking distance, improve truck productivity, and ultimately reduce trucking hours and total fleet diesel consumption, supporting the Company´s carbon footprint reduction strategy.