Golden Star Resources (TSX:GSC; NYSE:GSS) filed a preliminary economic assessment for expansion of its underground Wassa gold mine in Ghana on March 1. By mining the Southern Extension zone, the company will be able to boost the mining rate and use the full throughput capacity of the mineral processing plant.
The company anticipates the expansion would cost $47.7 million (all US dollars). Major projects have an estimated capex of $12.5 million – $26.6 million for mine development, $7.5 million for increased ventilation capacity. Underground production equipment will cost $18.2 million. Other minor projects – underground geology and mining, processing, plus administrative and tailings storage – are to cost $6.16 per run-of-mine tonne for identified reserves. Total operating costs will be $682 per oz. of gold produced.
Approval for the proposed expansion is expected by the end of 2022.
According to the 43-101, total updated resources stand at 29.3 million measured and indicated tonnes at 1.98 grams gold per tonne (3.5 million contained oz.) and 74.0 million inferred tonnes at 3.44 grams gold (8.2 million contained oz.)
Proven and probable reserves are 11.50 million tonnes grading 2.94 grams gold (1.1 million contained oz.)
The Wassa mine, in the Ashanti Gold Belt, is 90% owned by Golden Star and 10% by the Government of Ghana. In 2020 it produced 168,000 oz. gold.