Emerging gold producer Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) has de-risked its Abujar project further with a maiden measured resource for the Cote d’Ivoire asset.
Tietto’s maiden measured estimate for Abujar stands at 7.7 million tonnes at 1.4 grams per tonne gold for 350,000 ounces.
The company says this resource estimate de-risks the first two years of gold production from Abujar with first gold expected before the end of the year.
This measured estimate is based on infill drilling at the AG Core to an average vertical depth of 110m.
Combined, measured and indicated resources for AG Core now total 26.2Mt at 1.4g/t gold for 1.15Moz.
Tietto noted these resources account for 95% of the AG Core in pit inventory calculated in the definitive feasibility study.
Resources across all three categories (measured, indicated and inferred) and all deposits at Abujar have grown to 98.7Mt at 1.1g/t gold for 3.45Moz – up from 3.35Moz of contained gold.
Tietto managing director Dr Caigen Wang said the company expects to declare a proven ore reserve for the project this quarter – de-risking production further.
He added the estimates were “conservative” to manage the influence of “exceptionally” high gold grades present at the project.
“In an extreme case where diamond drilling intersected 1.1m at 2,853g/t gold the highest top-cut grade of 125g/t for the AG deposit represents only 4.4% of this intersection grade,” he explained.
Updates on definitive feasibility study
Gold output from Abujar over the first year is expected to reach 260,000oz, with 1.2Moz expected over the initial six years of operating.
As part of the resource upgrade, Tietto noted it would increase the mill throughput rate from 4Mtpa outlined in the definitive feasibility study to 4.5Mtpa.
With the latest resource, along with higher mill throughput, Dr Wang said the project’s life of mine production plan will be updated this quarter.
“We expect this will materially increase both the open pit ore reserve and life of mine inventory.”
“Spot gold prices are now 35% greater than the US$1,407 per ounce used for the definitive feasibility study.”
Dr Wang said Tietto remained on track and on budget to deliver first gold from Abujar later this year, along with another resource update.
“Shareholders can expect further updates from our aggressive diamond drilling program as we advance our dual strategy of drill and build,” he added.