Now Ghana the Top Gold Producer in Africa
Asante Gold Corporation notes that Ghana has overtaken South Africa as the largest gold producer in Africa, producing some 4.8 Moz in 2018 vs 4.2 Moz in South Africa, according to Bloomberg1.Ghana’s production is set to increase again with the imminent re-start of the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine (66 Moz global gold resource) with an annual production target of +350koz. Our Kubi Gold Mine project is located just 16km south of the Obuasi mine along the prolific Ashanti Gold Belt.
Asante is continuing to evaluate the new ‘disruptor’ SMD mining technique for application at Kubi. SMD is a large bore precision drilling method that enables direct mining of narrow deposits. The SMD method is being developed and commercialized by Anaconda Mining Inc, in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland and utilizes technology proven in other industries. Anaconda has announced a ’proof of concept’ field trial at one of their deposits in Newfoundland, targeting to start up in late August/September with the trial lasting around two months.
The innovative SMD method has many advantages over conventional narrow underground mining techniques and appears well suited to the +5g/t Kubi Gold style mineralization. Initial research indicates that:
1: SMD is low CAPEX – multiple SMD drills could be contractor leased, no costly processing plant to build, no crushing, grinding or CIL/cyanide circuit, or tailings dams required.
2: No underground development, minimizing permitting and construction time and costs,
3: Early cash flow from direct on-site recovery of gold from low CAPEX gravity circuit; tails to be dewatered, sampled, trucked off-site and sold to local processing plants,
4: Production is scalable – each SMD drill estimated to produce +100 tonnes per day.
5: No open cuts, pre-stripping or pit backfilling, no villages to move, giving minimal environmental impact,
6: Production is from direct drilling of ~2.5m diameter holes, to be backfilled on completion with cemented waste, and revegetated,
7: Environmentally Green - SMD drills would be electric, powered by solar farm with mains grid storage and draw down. 8: Low OPEX - initial estimates indicate less than half of conventional underground mining costs or circa 2g/t gold at current gold prices &
9: Increased worker safety – no workers underground.
Douglas Mac Quarrie, President & CEO states, “Asante is excited about the potential for this new ‘disruptor’ technology to transform Kubi from a gold deposit to a gold producer. Like the invention of hydraulic fracking turned previously uneconomic gas and oil deposits into highly economic production, so SMD mining has the potential to unlock major value in the narrow, hard rock mining space. We will continue to closely monitor developments as they occur.”