Etruscan Resources (EET-T) and Semafo (SMF-T) have begun pre-stripping at the Samira Hill gold deposit in southwestern Niger, Africa.
The Samira Hill gold project lies 90 km west of Niamey, the capital of Niger. The Samira deposit is just 3 km from the Libiri deposit and, starting in a couple of years, the two deposits will be mined simultaneously.
Both deposits lie on adjacent properties covered by exploration permits, held by Niger-based company Societe des mines du Liptako.This company is 80%-owned by African GeoMin Mining Development (AGMD) and 20% by the State of Niger. Etruscan and Semafo are equal joint-owners of AGMD.
Reserves were calculated by consulting firm Resource Service Group of Perth, Australia, in 2000. They used a gold price of US$325 per ounce and a 0.6 gram per tonne cut-off grade for their calculations. The total Samira-Libiri proven and probable reserves were 10 million tonnes grading 2.23 grams gold per tonne with 618,000 recoverable ounces. In addition to these reserves there is also a measured and indicated resource of 15 million tonnes grading 1.60 grams gold per tonne.
In 2003, the Northern Miner reported "Construction of the mine, including a 6,000-tonne-per-day carbon-in-leach plant, is expected to last a year. The site has already been fitted with roads, a landing strip, a surface water dam, a storage reservoir, a water pipeline, and an electrical power station"(T.N.M., June 23/03). Mining contractor BCM International of Ghana, was awarded the multi-year mining contract in late 2003.
The average stripping ratio is expected to be 3 to 1. The mill will be located within 300 metres of the Samiri Hill open pit.
AGMD has exploration permits in the area that cover 1,600 sq. km and several other gold deposits are found along the same horizon as the Samira and Libiri deposits.