Centamin expects to wrap up a definitive feasibility study on a circa-US$350 million gold project at Doropo in north-eastern Cote d’Ivoire by the middle of next year after its pre-feasibility study indicated positive economics for a 10-year venture producing an average 173,000 ounces a year at US$1017/oz AISC.
Based on openpit contract mining of a series of shallow pits and a conventional 4-to-5.5 million tonnes per annum mill and carbon-in-leach plant projected to deliver 92% average recoveries, the Centamin plan has a current probable reserve 1.87 million ounces with an average grade of 1.44 grams per tonne that the company believes could be expanded.
The current plan has 41Mt of ore mined and fed to the plant along with 166Mt of waste. Doropo’s proposed 346-hectare, 29 million-cubic-metre tailings storage facility (TSF) was “designed in accordance with Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and Australian National Committee on Large Dams guidelines”.
“The results from the Doropo PFS demonstrate an economically robust project that meets Centamin’s hurdle rates to proceed with a definitive feasibility study,” Centamin CEO Martin Horgan said.
“A life-of-mine average production rate of approximately 175,000ozpa at US$1000/oz AISC over 10 years delivering an IRR of 26% at a gold price of US$1600/oz in a well-established mining jurisdiction represents an excellent outcome.
“We have identified opportunities to further optimise the project which will be assessed as part of the DFS which is scheduled for completion in mid-2024.
“A substantial part of the DFS fieldwork has already been completed in 2023 which de-risks the timeline to completion and further confirms our faith in the potential of Doropo to support a commercially viable project which will bring significant investment and job creation to north-eastern Cote d’Ivoire.”
Centamin’s 1847sq.km Doropo property has 13 current gold deposits, with 85% of the resources outlined to date said to be within 7km radius of a central plant location.
The project has access to Cote d’Ivoire’s 90kV national grid via an existing substation and the PFS factors in a power cost of $0.113/kwh.
Centamin said its baseline studies indicated “2000-to-3000 people may require physical resettlement and up to 5000 hectares of agricultural land could be impacted by the project development”.
“The PFS plans for a staged approach to project development, mining sequencing and therefore resettlement action plan, with progressive rehabilitation to help minimise community and physical impacts as resettlement and livelihood restoration outcomes are a key factor for project success,” the company said.
Centamin has the circa-440,000ozpa Sukari gold mine in Egypt.