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West African Resources awards US$110 million underground contract to Byrnecut

Portal establishment at the gold project in Burkina Faso is expected to begin in March 2019.
Examining a contract document
The contract covers underground development and mining of M1 South

West African Resources Ltd (ASX:WAF) (CVE:WAF) has awarded the US$110 million underground mining contract for Sanbrado Gold Project in Burkina Faso to experienced mining services contractor Byrnecut.

The five-year contract awarded to Byrnecut Burkina Faso SARL covers underground development and mining of the M1 South mine.

Mobilisation activities will start next month with portal establishment expected to begin in March 2019.

“Key operational contract”

West African managing director Richard Hyde said: “The underground mining contract is a key operational contract for Sanbrado.

“This follows the completion of a competitive tender process and extensive due diligence process examining safety, experience and capabilities.

“We are very pleased to award the underground mining contract to Byrnecut who have a long history providing underground mining services globally and have current operating experience in West Africa.”

A debt funding package to develop Sanbrado is expected to be finalised by the end of December 2018.

Works program

Works under the underground mining services contract, which has an initial term of five years, include:

- Underground portal establishment for M1 South;
- Decline and level development (7-kilometres);
- Ore driving (2-kilometres and 200,000 tonnes) and stope production (1.3 million tonnes);
- Raise drilling; and
- Cemented rock back fill.

The underground development will access high-grade, free-milling gold mineralisation directly beneath the proposed M1 South open pit at around 120 metres vertical.

Concurrent mining of open pit

Concurrent mining of the M1 South open pit ore from surface and underground will accelerate cash flow over the early years of the Sanbrado mine life.

Awarding of this contract follows the maiden M1 South underground ore reserve of 1.5 million tonnes grading 11.7 g/t for 600,000 ounces of contained gold.

This is part of the overall Sanbrado probable reserve of 20.4 million tonnes grading 2.4 g/t for 1.6 million ounces of contained gold.

READ: West African Resources drills 25 metres at 15.03 g/t gold below resource

Drilling completed since June 2018 has continued to intercept high-grade mineralisation which has been extended more than 220 metres beneath underground reserves.

Byrnecut Group executive chairman Steve Coughlan said: “We are looking forward to partnering with West African on the exciting Sanbrado Gold Project.

“This project will be our second site in Burkina Faso and fifth project we have operated in the West African region.”

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