West African gold explorer and developer Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) has confirmed construction on its fully-funded Abujar gold project in Côte d’Ivoire remains on track for first gold pour by year end.
The company said work was being carried out on schedule and the project remains lost-time injury free.
Bulk earthworks have been completed for the process plant and camp area and progress has been made on the mine site’s administration office, cafeteria building and the first 120 camp rooms.
Tietto recently purchased 14 dump trucks and two Hitachi excavators for the bulk earthworks at Abujar, which arrived on site in January.
Contractors have poured concrete for the onsite carbon-in-leach (CIL) ring beams and the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill raft, with the SAG mill on track for delivery to site before mid-year.
Clearing for a 34 kilometre-long, 90-kilovolt power line corridor has commenced.
Abujar is believed to have potential to become one of the largest gold mines in West Africa with forecast production of 260,000 ounces of gold in the first year and 1.2 million ounces in the first six years.
In January, Tietto completed an $85 million placement to complement its debt strategy, in which it mandated Taurus Mining Finance Fund No2 LP to deliver an underwritten project development facility of up to $194 million of debt funding for the $277 million project.
Tietto said it remains “very well positioned” to advance a dual strategy for the remainder of this year which includes driving rapid resource growth and fast-tracking development to achieve first gold by year end.
A definitive feasibility study released in October demonstrated robust financial results and estimated gold production of 200,000oz per year over the first six years of an 11‐year mine life.
The Abujar gold project is comprised of the contiguous Middle, South and North exploration tenements, across a total land area of 1,114 sq km, of which less than 10% has been explored.
The project features a north-northeast‐oriented gold corridor over 70km striking across all three tenements.
Tietto has substantially advanced Abujar since starting exploration in mid‐2015 with the identification of 3.35Moz of indicated and inferred resources and the completion of metallurgical test work for the 4 million-tonnes-per-annum definitive feasibility study.