This comes as the company progresses towards becoming West Africa’s next gold producer with development of the 3.02-million-ounce Abujar Gold Project in Cote d’Ivoire.
Wilcox is highly experienced in West African gold mining construction, having directly managed the construction of West African Resources Ltd’s (ASX:WAF) (OTCMKTS:WFRSF) 300,000 ounces per annum Sanbrado Gold Mine, which was completed in March 2020, ahead of schedule and under budget.
He also had eight years with Nord Gold as project director for the construction of the 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) Bissa Gold Project and 8 mtpa Bouly Gold Project, both in Burkina Faso, and was general manager of the 6 mtpa LEFA Gold Project in Guinea.
Adding to his operational expertise, he was project director for the construction of the 12 mtpa Gross Gold Project in Siberia, Russia, prior to joining WAF.
“Amazing track record”
Tietto managing director Caigen Wang said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome Matthew to our team as we continue to progress the development of our 3.02-million-ounce Abujar Gold Project.
“He has an amazing track record of developing and delivering mines and we are confident he can replicate the milestones he achieved with West African’s Sanbrado Mine with our project.”
Mining convention negotiations
Tietto has received a mining licence (Exploitation Permit) for Abujar from Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Energy and is negotiating the mining convention for the project, which is expected to happen in the first half of this year.
The company's pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Abujar project remain on track for delivery later this quarter.
Wang said: “With our Mining Licence in place for the project and discussions with the Ivoirian Government on terms and conditions for the Abujar Gold Project Mining Convention, as well as a PFS on track for delivery in the current quarter, we are methodically and systematically moving Abujar through the development stages.
"Bringing a candidate with Matthew’s calibre and experience onboard will only serve to boost our capabilities.”
Early site work at the project
Tietto has started early site work on the US$2.5 million project at Abujar including site access upgrade, power line corridor survey, camp improvement and the purchase of long-lead items in anticipation of approval and completion of the PFS.
The company also started a 70,000-metre drill program, with up to six rigs completing as much as 11,000 metres of drilling per month, as it targets multiple new and existing prospects to drive further resource growth on the Abujar Middle Tenement - which hosts the 2.3 million ounces AG that is expected to be the focus of the future mining operation.