On 5 November 2018, Perseus Mining Limited (ASX: PRU) announced that it has completed the scoping study for potential underground mine at Yaouré Gold Project which is located in a rural area on the southern edge of Lake Kossou, in central Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Following the release of this news, the share price of the company increased by 1.333 percent as on 5 November 2018.
In November 2017, the company completed a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) covering the open pit at the Project and it highlighted the potential for underground mining of the CMA, Y3, S1 and S2 lodes. Preliminary evaluation recognized that the mineralization with the highest potential for underground mining was the CMA Lode, immediately down dip of the DFS CMA pit. The DFS includes the infrastructure to support the open pit operation and a nominal 3.0 million tonne per annum processing plant. The size of the potential CMA Footwall underground workings can be supported by the DFS power and water supply, communications, roads, accommodation, and administration infrastructure.
The Scoping Study was initiated during the first half of 2018 to examine the technical and economic viability of underground mining methods for extraction of the CMA Lode and to identify the requirements to convert the potential underground target to an Indicated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve through a subsequent Prefeasibility Study.
The scoping study for a potential underground mining operation indicates that the underground access from Yaouré’s CMA open pit combined with the selected mining method could significantly reduce the capital development requirements. Further, the scoping study indicates there are no known impediments to future underground development and there is a requirement of additional Mineral Resource drilling and technical studies to enable Ore Reserve definition.
The Scoping Study has highlighted one further avenue for the company to expand its already technically feasible and financially attractive, Yaouré Gold Project. When this potential is combined with the existing Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves that are scheduled to be mined using open cut mining methods, the Yaouré Gold Project, which on current estimates is expected to start producing gold from open pit operations in December 2020, should form a major portion of Perseus’s business in Côte d’Ivoire for many years to come.
The first step to confirm technical and economic viability would be to determine where the optimum changeover point is from open pit to underground mining. The assessment will use information from the recently completed Stage 8 drilling program and the outcomes of the assessment would determine the optimum timing of a PFS drilling program, with the shallower the changeover to an underground, the earlier the drilling would need to occur.
In the last six months, the share price of the company declined by 17.58 percent as on 2 November 2018. PRU’s shares traded at $0.380 with a market capitalization of circa $388.09 million as on 5 November 2018 (AEST 3:57 PM).
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