EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT

WAF dishes up tasty met results

The news from the Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso has consistently impressed over the past 12-18 months, with West African Resources (ASX: WAF) this week now adding strong metallurgical positives to the ongoing exploration success story.

Michael Quinn
Drilling at Sanbrado in Burkina Faso

Drilling at Sanbrado in Burkina Faso

The ASX and TSX-V listed-company said last week testwork had shown recoveries above 96% could be expected from ore grading greater than 5 grams per tonne emanating from the key high-grade M1 South deposit.

"This is significantly higher than recoveries derived from the 2016-17 test work programs which were estimated to be in the 90% to 96% range for samples grading 5 to 30gpt, with recoveries capped at 96% for (greater than) 30gpt material," West African said.

At last count M1 South had 750,000 ounces to its name at an average grade of 14.4 grams per tonne, with the operative word being ‘last' - as ongoing drilling has delivered further success at depth.

The bottom line from the met work is an expectation for significantly improved returns for a project that was already giving all the right signs for being highly profitable.

The professional end of town continues to very much like what it sees at the project.

"Sanbrado continues to shape up as one of the best undeveloped gold projects owned by a junior," Euroz said earlier this month.

"We continue to believe that Sanbrado can be a (greater than) 200,000oz producer at all in sustaining costs of less than US$700 per ounce.

"Sanbrado is a quality project with significant exploration upside and a potential corporate target as genuinely good projects tend not be developed by juniors.

Sprott concurs with Euroz's positive assessment - and some!

"We see West African as unique in its ability to offer scale of operations well over 250,000oz per annum by combining an open pit and underground, and low risk given its ability to support bulk underground mining methods (greater than10m widths) over grades of 10-15 grams per tonne given the ounce-per-tonne grades of the high-grade M1 South," Sprott said in a note to clients after the metallurgical test results.

Sprott sees potential for the high-grade M1 South to hit 900,000oz or more in the current half and up to 1.5 million ounces if the high grade shoots continue past 1000m, with exploration continuing apace and feasibility results for Sanbrado expected mid-year.

Meanwhile, Paradigm Capital summed the situation nicely in the gold space late last year with comments it made in reference to its "Takeover Twenty" list following the Beaver Creek conference - a list the investment firm puts together comprising what it believes are the more promising gold project developers.

"The combination of today's larger production base, fewer new discoveries, investor appetite for growth and rising gold prices puts the world's existing inventory of undeveloped projects in an enviable position," Paradigm said.

"What they possess is increasingly rare and valuable.

"We have been told our list is a ‘tray of half-eaten sandwiches'.

"Well, Mother Nature is not bringing another tray, just the occasional sandwich. This is lunch.

"The tray of sandwiches we offered up in our inaugural August 2014 Takeover Twenty has been picked over in the interim, two-thirds having either been eaten — at an average 66% premium we might add - or spoken for.

"It is a struggle for us to find new sandwiches to replenish the tray. The lunch crowd is larger and from what we could see from their attendance at Beaver Creek, hungrier. Even the tuna on pumpernickel with curled edges will eventually look appetising."

Given the numbers consistently coming out of Sanbrado, perhaps a freshly made plate of salmon, capers and cream cheese bagels might be a more appropriate analogy in the case of West African Resources.

 

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Kondinin team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Kondinin team.

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