Avesoro Resources (TSX: ASO; LON: ASO) has increased the mineral reserves at its Youga gold mine by 23% — extending the mine life of the Burkina Faso open-pit operation by an additional four years to 2031.
The junior, which also produces gold at its New Liberty mine in Liberia, says proven and probable reserves at Youga now stand at 14.74 million tonnes grading 1.72 grams gold per tonne for 814,900 contained oz. gold.
The 763-sq.-km licence area at Youga contains the Youga, Ouare and Balogo deposits.
Under the mine plan, production from the Youga pits is expected to pause temporarily in 2021, with the Youga mill processing ore from Balogo and Ouare. Operations at the previously mined Balogo satellite pit will restart in December 2019 and continue to December 2020, when the pit will close. Balogo is 154 km west of the Youga mine.
Development at Ouare, 44 km to the east of Youga’s processing plant, will start with the construction of the haul road in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2020.
Production at Ouare is expected to start in the second quarter of next year and continue to 2024.
Ore production from the Youga open-pits restarts in the first quarter of 2023 until the operation ceases in 2027. Based on known reserves, the Youga mill will process run-of-mine ore from the Ouare deposit and stockpile until the first quarter of 2031, when the mine is expected to close.
Measured and indicated resources at Youga total 22.16 million tonnes grading 1.67 grams gold for 1.19 million oz. gold, and inferred resources stand at 7.6 million tonnes grading 1.5 grams gold for 337,000 oz. gold.
Average life-of-mine operating cash costs at the Youga mine are forecast to reach US$877 per oz. with all in sustaining costs of US$973 per ounce.
The company estimates production from Youga and its New Liberty gold mine in Liberia could reach 200,000 oz. gold per year for the next four years.
Youga is 180 km southeast of the capital of Ouagadougou, adjacent to Burkina Faso’s border with Ghana. The Youga licence contains seven open-pit deposits and a 1.1 million tonne per year carbon-in-leach processing facility.
In Toronto, Avesoro trades at $2.01 per share in a 52-week range of $1.94 to $5.99. The company has a $164-million market capitalization.