Annual Archive
27 February 2017

West African confirms Sanbrado as +150,000 ounces per annum gold producer by 2019

27 February 2017

Gold developer West African Resources Limited (ASX, TSXV: WAF) announced the results of its Open Pit Feasibility Study, prepared in accordance with the requirements of the 2012 JORC Code and NI 43-101, for the Sanbrado1 Gold Project, Burkina Faso.  The study envisages an initial 9 year mine life, with strong early cashflow and a rapid payback of capital.


§  Sanbrado open pit feasibility study confirms:

·          Forecast annual production of 150,000 ounces over the first 3 years of project and 93,000 ounces per annum over 9 years of current mine life (LOM)

·          124% increase in Indicated Resources at M1 South, driving new project economics

·          103% increase in Probable Reserves now 894,000 ounces (16.8Mt at 1.7g/t Au)

·          Two year pay back on $131 million capex (including pre-production mining and contingency)

·          Low All-In Sustaining Costs (AISC) of $708/oz over the first 3 years and $759 over LOM

·          Strong economics – pre-tax NPV5% of $143m, IRR 27% and post-tax NPV5% of $100m, IRR 21%

·          Sanbrado is ‘shovel ready’ with mining and environmental permits already approved

·          Camp construction and early site works are underway

·          Discussions with project lenders in progress, targeting conventional debt and equity finance

·          Ore reserves based on Indicated Resources only, study delivered 6 months after M1 maiden resource and less than 12 months after M1 South high-grade discovery

§  Substantial upside to LOM through optimised definitive feasibility study and further drilling:

·          Significant opportunity to boost to project economics through underground mining at M1 South reducing high Y1-2 stripping costs

·          Infill drilling targeting conversion of Inferred Resources within and beneath current ore reserve pit shells, and follow-up extensional drilling at M1 and M5

·          DFS to include resource and reserve update for M1 and M5

·          DFS completion by Q3 2017, fully-funded from existing cash of A$17 million



Managing Director Richard Hyde commented: 

“From high-grade discovery to delivering a robust feasibility study in less than 12 months is an outstanding achievement, and a credit to our dedicated in-country team and independent consultants.

“The recent discovery of high-grade gold at M1 South is the driving force behind the new project, which currently represents a high-margin, but high strip ratio open pit.  It is likely to be more cost effective to mine M1 South with a smaller open-pit followed by underground mining.  This is the focus of current development work and will be reported in an optimised definitive feasibility study by Q3 2017.

 “The next steps are straight-forward – with $17m cash on hand we are well-funded to carry out work programs, including the optimisation study, which is likely to drive mining costs significantly lower. Drilling programs will also focus on converting existing Inferred Resources within and beneath reserve pit-shells, and drilling ‘open at depth’ extensions at M1 and M5.

“The open pit feasibility study as it currently stands demonstrates very strong early cashflow, rapid payback of capital and allows us to advance discussions with project lenders while completing optimisation work and further drilling, and commence early site works including camp construction. “We look forward to keeping the market informed with results from our busy 2017 work program.”


Sanbrado Open Pit Feasibility Study – Production and Financial Highlights

Base case is stated on a 100% basis and a gold price of $1,200/oz (all amounts in US$)

Production Y1-3

Average of 150,000oz/yr

Production LOM

Average of 93,000oz/yr

Production Costs[1] Y1-3

Average Cash Costs of $672/oz (including royalties) 

Average All-in Sustaining Costs (AISC) of $708/oz

Production Costs LOM

Average Cash Costs of $717/oz (including royalties) 

Average All-in Sustaining Costs (AISC) of $759/oz


Pre-tax IRR of 27% and 2.1 year payback on initial capital

After-tax IRR of 21% and 2.3 year payback on initial capital


Pre-tax NPV (5%) of $143M

After-tax NPV (5%) of $100M


Pre-Production capital of $131 million (including pre-production mining and contingency)

Study Mine Life

8.75 years

Probable Mineral Reserves2,3

16.8Mt at 1.7g/t gold containing 894,000 ounces of gold (strip ratio of 5:1)

LOM Recoveries

90.7% for 810,000 ounces of gold recovered

1  Cash costs include all mining and processing costs, site administration, royalties, refining and site rehabilitation costs.  AISC includes Cash costs, sustaining capital, closure costs but excludes head office corporate costs.

2  Based on Indicated Resources only, in-pit Inferred Resources treated as waste in the study mining schedule.

3  The average strip ratio of 5.0:1 is inclusive of a strip ratio of 35.6:1 for the M1 South pit.


Figure 1  Sanbrado Gold Project Resources and Site Layout

Figure 1
Sanbrado Gold Project Resources and Site Layout

[1]Formerly known as the Tanlouka Gold Project 

27 February 2017

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27 February 2017
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