Modern Mining December 2017


The processing plant at the Fekola gold mine. Recoveries are currently running ahead of budget (photo: B2Gold).

Canada’s B2Gold Corp reports that its new Fekola gold mine in Mali achieved com- mercial production on 30 November, one month ahead of the revised schedule and four months ahead of the schedule announced in the Optimised Feasibility Study (OFS). Ramp up to full-scale production at Fekola remains ahead of schedule with gold production well above budget in each of the ramp-up months, beating original recovery, grade and plant availability esti- Fekola races into commercial production mates in the OFS design. By 30 November this year, the mine had produced around 80 000 ounces of gold, approximately 158 % above budget (31 000 ounces). Gold production from the mine in 2017 is now forecast to be between 100 000 and 110 000 ounces, far surpassing the upper end of the original guidance of 45 000 to 55 000 ounces. B2Gold has declared commercial pro- duction at Fekola based on an internal commercial productionmeasure of 30 con-

secutive days of mill throughput at 65 % or greater of nameplate capacity (607 dry tonnes per hour). During the 30 consecu- tive-day commercial test, the mill achieved an average throughput of 626 dry tonnes per hour. This included an availability for the mill of 95 % (budget was 70 %) for the test period and a recovery that exceeded 95 % (budget was 91 %). The Fekola mill started processing ore more than three months ahead of sched- ule on 25 September 2017, with the first pour achieved on 7 October. In October, the first full month of ramp-up and pre- Production of this batch of concentrate was achieved prior to completion of final commissioning of the processing plant through a primary crushing circuit capable of treating undiluted run of mine ore with- out requiring the gravity separation circuits incorporated within the total processing plant. Rainbow expects to move to truck con- voy shipments on at least a weekly basis during Q1 2018 as production increases. Mining has continued to make good progress at Gasagwe and has already deliv- ered the targeted ROM ore stockpile for the commissioning period. Rainbow says it is continuing to advance its understanding of the Gasagwe deposit in order to maximise mining production. It has recently made additions to the mining fleet on a rental basis to accelerate the rate of waste strip- ping and provide access to the high-grade vein material. 

Rainbow ships its first rare earth concentrate LSE-listed Rainbow, the rare earth element mining company, has exported its first 25-tonne shipment of rare earth concen- trate from the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara is one of the highest grade rare earth element mining projects globally, with an estimated in situ grade of 47-67 % Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO).

and we now look forward to growing our monthly production levels over the com- ing months targeting a 5 000 t/a run rate by the end of 2018. “Rare earths have a vital input in some of the world’s fastest growing markets including renewable energy, electric vehi- cles, telecommunications and defence and due to the demand of these important technology metals prices have strength- ened considerably this year.  We are eager to further increase our production pro- file and as such have been exploring the Gakara licence area alongside our devel- opment work which has resulted in the recent exploration success identifying four large anomalies. With initial production now underway, we look forward to further unlocking the value of Gakara for the ben- efit of our shareholders.”

Martin Eales, CEO of Rainbow, com- mented: “Rainbow can now rightly claim to be the only producing rare earths mine in Africa, and the highest-grade producer globally. We have successfully delivered on our stated strategy, having devel- oped the Gasagwe mine, constructed our processing plant to the point of final commissioning and now exported our first shipment of mineral concentrate, all within 11 months of IPO. This is a proud moment for all involved in the company

4  MODERN MINING  December 2017

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