After completing the necessary construction work at its 3.45-million-ounce Abujar Project in Côte d’Ivoire, West African gold developer Tietto Minerals has officially commenced mining at the site. The company is eyeing a maiden gold pour later this year and says the operation could pump out 260,000 ounces in 2023.
News of the work nudged Tietto’s share price about 4 per cent higher in intraday trading to a record 83c.
The company says it wrapped up key construction work in October including the mechanical completion of the project’s semi-autogenous SAG mill and crushing area.
The Perth-based developer expects to begin crushing Abujar’s ore later this month. In addition, the operation’s carbon-in-leach tanks are functionally complete with piping and electrical installation now in the process of being finalised.
Tietto appears to be chomping at the bit to have the project up and running and says the site’s water storage dam is now sealed and capturing water with the nearby tailings dam now 60 per cent lined.
In terms of power, the ground’s electrical substations are expected to be commissioned this month and activated in December.
Tietto is currently finishing off a life-of-mine plan for Abujar and plans to incorporate its current mineral resources, increased mill throughput figures and a higher price of gold into its calculations.
The price of gold is currently hovering around US$1700, about 19 per cent higher than the original US$1,407 per ounce figure used in the company’s definitive feasibility study.
Tietto’s construction blitz is part of the company’s “drill and build” strategy that will see the explorer complete roughly 120,000 metres of drilling this year with its fleet of company owned diamond rigs.
The low-footprint drill rigs allow Tietto to achieve an exceptionally economical drilling rate of just US$35 per metre and can be easily mobilised to new targets – of which it has many.
Tietto’s targets are speckled within a 20km spread of Abujar and it plans to test several by year’s end as it looks to bolster its already stacked reserves.
Abujar’s gold resources are enclosed inside three areas; the AG deposit, SG deposit and APG deposit.
AG boasts a 55.2 million tonne resource at 1.4 g/t gold for 2.43 million ounces whilst the southern-lying APG deposit holds a 41.9 million tonnes grading 0.7 g/t for 960,000 million tonnes.
The SG deposit is located further north and speaks for 1.6 million tonnes at 1.2 g/t for 60,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal.
Tietto has seemingly navigated the many challenges associated to establishing a gold mine in Africa and with mining now underway and with first gold imminent, the market appears to agree.