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A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert?

Toronto-listed Algold Resources (ALG) is gearing up to build one of the highest-grade opencut gold mines in West Africa with an average grade of about 4 grams per tonne, the company’s executive vice president exploration Francois Auclair said at this week’s Beaver Creek Precious Metals Summit.
A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert? A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert? A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert? A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert? A 'golden opportunity' in Mauritanian desert?

Drilling at Tijirit in Mauritania

The action is at the company's Tijirit property in the Mauritanian desert, about three hours from the capital, Nouakchott - an area surrounded by herders and nomads, he said.

"It is very special to get a contained, very high-grade gold deposit," said Auclair.

"We only acquired the property two years ago but the resources are growing rapidly and we plan to develop in 2019/20 with the first pour at some point in 2020. This is a fast-track project by any measure," he said.

Just this week Algold announced preliminary assays from drilling carried out in July and August at the Salma-Eleonore East vein system at Tijirit. One highlight was 2.22gpt Au over 17m (hole T18RC151), including 3.9gpt over 7m and 11gpt over 2m about 50m below surface.

Algold recently published a preliminary economic assessment for Tijirit that indicated after-tax NPV of US$69 million at an 8% discount rate with a post-tax IRR of 23.5%, using a gold price of $1,250 per ounce.

The payback period was cited at 1.8 years (after tax) with a pre-production direct capital cost of $96.4 million, in addition to indirect costs of $31.2 million.  For phase 1 of the project, lasting four years, the PEA forecast was for an average annual production rate of 104,500oz. There were plans for a second phase of development, bumping up the life of mine to about seven years - but that's probably just for starters.

A bankable feasibility study was on the cards for later this year, said Auclair.