The Offshore business of Western Australia-based, international mining services group Byrnecut operations currently works in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania, in the region.
WAF is also developing an openpit mine to contribute to forecast annual production of 211,000oz of gold at expected all-in sustaining costs of about US$551/oz in the first five years, and $640oz life-of-mine. The company anticipates a 16-month payback on the US$185 million pre-production Sanbrado capex.
Boxcut excavation for Sanbrado M1 South underground development started in early November and the work is expected to be complete in February next year to allow portal development to begin in March.
"The underground mining contract is a key operational contract for Sanbrado and its award follows the completion of a competitive tender process and extensive due diligence process examining safety, experience and capabilities," says WAF managing director Richard Hyde.
"We are very pleased to award the underground mining contract to Byrnecut who have a long history providing underground mining services globally and have current operating experience in West Africa."
Byrnecut Group executive chairman Steve Coughlan says the company is looking forward to partnering with West African Resources on the "exciting Sanbrado gold project".
"This project will be our second site in Burkina Faso and fifth project we have operated in the West African region.
"Byrnecut will bring more than 30 years of operational experience to Sanbrado and looks forward to ensuring West African's targets are met, while providing a safe operating environment for both client and contractor."
M1 South underground development will access high-grade, free-milling gold mineralisation located directly beneath the proposed M1 South openpit at about 120m vertical depth.
Byrnecut will complete about 7km of decline and level development, plus 2km and 200,000t of ore driving and 1.3Mt of stope production. It will also provide raise drilling services, and oversee delivery of cemented rock stope backfill.
Byrnecut Offshore employs more than 1,200 people within the broader 3,500-strong group workforce.