JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Perth-based exploration and development company Moto Goldmines has completed the optimised feasibility study at its Moto gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The feasibility study had found that the project economics were significantly enhanced by introducing a high-grade underground mine and adopting a value acceleration strategy for the openpit mine scheduling, the company reported on Monday
A probable mineral reserves of 42,3-million tons at a grading of 4,0 g/t gold for 5,5-million ounces of gold was recorded, while life-of-mine gold production of 4,8-million ounces, with an average estimated cash cost of $318/oz produced was also estimated.
The feasibility study found that average annual output of 484 000 oz of gold over the first five years of the life-of-mine, at an average unit cash cost of $303/oz produced, was likely.
Preproduction capital and infrastructure cost was estimated at $438-million, including contingency and 18-months of underground development activities.
Significant potential also existed to further enhance the project economics by increasing plant throughput with incremental capital expenditure, underpinned by potential increases to underground mineral reserves and accelerated treatment of openpit ore stocks.
Openpit mining was planned to proceed at a higher rate than that required to maintain plant feed, to allow high-grade material and value to be brought forward. Lower value material mined would also be treated later in the mine life, with emphasis in the earlier years being on maintaining the highest value feed to the mill.
The planned life-of-mine at the start of production was about 16 years and was based on a nominal plant throughput rate of 2,8-million tons a year. Gold production over the first five years was expected to average 484 000 oz/y.
The Moto gold project is located in the north-east of the DRC and is a joint-venture between L'Office des Mines d'Or de Kilo-Moto and Borgakim sprl , a Moto wholly-owned subsidiary.