The Sabodala gold plant commissioning is proceeding well with the plant currently operating at the nominal rate of two million tonnes per year.
The first gold pour is imminent and should occur before mid March 2009. The operating company, Sabodala Gold Operations SA (SGO), is on schedule to produce 160,000 ounces of gold in calendar 2009.
To date, the primary crusher has processed over 100,000 tonnes of ore. Nearly 900,000 tonnes of ore containing 80,000 ounces of gold (mostly oxide material) is on the run-of-mine pad directly adjacent to the crusher.
The treatment plant has achieved, and is operating at, the design parameters. The absorption circuit is already commissioned and a successful trial strip using water/ barren carbon has been completed.
Since January, the 30MW power station has provided diesel generated power to Sabodala. More recently, the more cost effective heavy fuel oil (HFO) separators and booster modules were commissioned, and the plant has been running on heavy fuel oil since late February.
Outside of the main treatment plant, commissioning of the new mining fuel farm is complete. An additional 120,000 litres of diesel fuel has been unloaded and the heavy vehicle quick-fill pumps, light vehicle bowser and electronic swipe card system are now commissioned.
The Sabodala Gold Project is located in Senegal some 650 kilometres east of the capital Dakar within the Birimian belt and about 90 kilometres from major gold mines and discoveries in Mali. The Sabodala and Niakafiri deposits lie within SGO’s 20.3 square kilometre mining concession.