Asante announces operations update

Asante Gold Corporation is pleased to provide an update and status report for the initiatives the Company has taken at its Bibiani and Chirano Gold Mines in Ghana.

Bibiani ramp up on track

The first gold pour at the Bibiani Gold Mine (“Bibiani”) occurred on July 7, 2022, two months ahead of schedule. All process plant and mine facilities are operating on a 24 hour per day basis, with ~220,000 tonnes of ore treated in September.  Asante plans to increase throughput to 250,000 tonnes ore per month by Q1 2023.

Gold production in September was just above 9,300 ounces, 17% above the Company’s start up plan. Mine plan and mine to mill reconciliation for the Walsh satellite pit and Main Pit were on target. The Walsh Pit continues to outperform, relative to our initial planned gold production. The area between the Walsh and Main pits were historically used for tailings storage.

This area has now been partially explored and Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources have increased from 20,000 to more than 100,000 ounces (1.37 MT with Au grade of 2.62 g/t).  The drilling program to explore this trend and to support the planned underground mining strategy has been initiated.

The Company’s plan to extend the Bibiani LOM (life of mine) from 8.3 years to +10 years is on track with successful development exploration at Russel South (see press releases of March 29th and August 17th) and drilling programs have commenced at the Grasshopper and Elizabeth deposits.  The Company will continue its near mine development exploration program with planned drilling of approximately 30,000 metres per year for 2022, 2023 and 2024.

The Company filed an updated National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) technical report on the Bibiani Gold Mine on September 1, 2022 that incorporates exploration and mine planning results to February 28, 2022 and increased the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources by 26.4% to 2.29M ounces (31.57 MT with Au grade of 2.24 g/t) and are further classified as 1.95M ounces of Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves (28.4 MT with Au grade of 2.14 g/t).  An updated NI 43-101 technical report to incorporate results of the 2022 exploration program is planned for Q3 2023.  We anticipate this report will define additional ounces to the current resource and LOM.

Chirano mine transition plan and business improvements on track

The Chirano Gold Mine (“Chirano”) acquisition was completed on August 10, 2022.  This acquisition added Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 28.1Mt at 1.26 g/t Au (1.13 Moz) and Inferred Mineral Resources of 6.05Mt at 1.91 g/t (0.37 Moz) to Asante’s gold resource.

An updated NI 43-101 technical report for Chirano was filed by the Company on October 11, 2022.  The technical report is based upon information and planning developed by Kinross Gold Corporation, the former owner of Chirano.  Asante continues to identify and develop opportunities to add value to this asset.  An update to this technical report is planned for Q3 2023 and will incorporate results of the 2022 exploration program and Business Improvement Plan.

The Company has initiated a Chirano Transition and Business Improvement Plan to increase Chirano current gold production by 30% and to reduce AISC (all-in sustaining costs) by 10% by 2024 through the following initiatives: Gravity plant design and procurement are well advanced with installation planned for completion at Q2 2023;

Oxygen addition to the CIL (carbon-in-leach) process is proceeding and an oxygen plant is planned for installation in Q2 2023; to date, we have increased gold recovery by +3% to 89%. A pebble crusher has been ordered and primary grinding upgrades are planned to be installed in Q2 2023 to increase process plant throughput from 3.2 to 4.0M t/y; Relocation of minor infrastructure and facilities is underway, to provide access to expansion of the Akoti South open pit and to start the second cut at the Sariehu open pit.  These initiatives will   access lower cost resources;

Studies and associated initiatives are underway to improve the material handling systems to deliver ore to the Process Plant at lower cost; Initiatives to capture synergies between the Bibiani and Chirano mines have started to yield benefits related to supply of principle consumable materials;

Development of the wide Obra orebody, the lower Tano underground mines and the Mamnao open pit mine have been accelerated, to provide lower cost resources for treatment; and Asante plans to invest minimum of $5M/y in near mine and regional exploration over the next three years with the target to increase Chirano LOM from current 5 to +10 years; exploration of the Aboduabo and Chine targets has been initiated.

Operating synergy initiatives underway

The Company has commenced initiatives to capture synergies between its’ Bibiani and Chirano mines, that are situated with their process plants approximately 15 km apart. These initiatives include development of an access road to directly link the process plants and provide access for exploration along the highly mineralized Bibiani-Chirano shear zone. This road will be upgraded to become a mine haul road, so that ore can be treated where most appropriate, based upon availability and mineralogy. Asante continues to develop opportunities to share infrastructure and to realize operational cost reductions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Back to top button