PRESS RELEASE: The pre-production mining is being undertaken by contractor African Mining Services (AMS), a subsidiary of Ausdrill, which Hummingbird engaged in January to work on the project.
The pre-production mining is due to ramp up over the next three months as Hummingbird approaches full scale operations. By the end of November, it is anticipated that over 3Mt will have been moved.
AMS currently has the following equipment on site at Yanfolila: one Liebherr 9150 excavator; one Liebherr 9250 excavator; six Caterpillar 777 trucks; five Caterpillar D9 dozers; one Caterpillar 336 excavator; and two Caterpillar 980 front end loaders.
During the first phase of mining there will be areas of free dig material as well as material that will require light blasting. Blasting will be conducted using non-electric down hole delay detonators with ammonium nitrate, fuel oil (ANFO) for dry holes and emulsion explosives for wet holes. AEL Mining Services will provide an explosive storage and supply service to the mining contractor.
Advanced grade control drilling to better delineate the orebody and improve planning and ore scheduling to the mill is ongoing, together with state of the art Trimble differential GPS and Pix4D drone mapping for survey and volumetric calculations.
Minesched software is being used for short-term and life of mine scheduling, with Blockbuster software being used to update the ore reserve model with advance grade control drilling assay results.
The ore will be stockpiled in advance of its introduction to the process plant in the December 2017 quarter. The process plant construction and associated infrastructure remain on budget and schedule, with commissioning anticipated in the December quarter.
Yanfolila is forecast to produce 132,000oz gold in its first full year of production at a life of mine all in sustaining cost of US$695/oz.
An average production of 107,000oz/y of gold over the life of mine is predicted in tandem with exploration and development initiatives to expand the current mine plan.
Dan Betts, CEO of Hummingbird, commented: “Commencement of mining activities at Yanfolila is a significant milestone for Hummingbird as we continue to bring the project closer to production by the end of this year. Our contract mining partners, AMS, have mobilised a significant fleet to site and this commitment emphasises the momentum the project has gained throughout the year.
“As we enter the final months of construction we remain on time and budget for first gold by the end of 2017. We will look to build on the current momentum as we ramp up to full scale mining and production.”