Gold developer West African Resources (ASX: WAF) has recovered high-grade gold in a maiden drilling program at the M1 South deposit within its advanced Sanbrado gold project in Burkina Faso.
The company today reported assay results from initial drill holes in the grade-control reverse circulation program, with a 27m intersection grading at 8.7 grams per tonne of gold from a depth of 30m, including 7m at 16.2g/t gold.
Other drilling highlights comprised: 21m at 9.2g/t gold from 14m, including 6m at 25.4g/t gold; 37m at 2.4g/t gold from 3m, including 5m at 8.5g/t gold; and a 24m intersection from surface grading at 3g/t gold.
The news follows the company’s announcement last month of high-grade results recovered from a maiden drilling program at the nearby M5 deposit, including 29m at 13.2g/t gold from surface.
The drilling results bode well for the Sanbrado project, which is currently 45% through the construction stage of its development.
In April, the company released an optimised feasibility study for the project, which envisions an initial 10-year mine life with an expected production of 301,000 ounces of gold in the first year of operation.
West African Resources managing director Richard Hyde said the high-grade results unearthed at M1 South confirm “Sanbrado will process high-grade free milling ore early in the production schedule”.
“Drilling continues and will de-risk the first five months of production from the high-grade M1 South open pit,” he said.
According to Mr Hyde, construction is progressing on time and budget with commercial gold production on track for the second half of 2020.
West African Resources said while first pass drilling at M5 has now been completed, drilling is ongoing at M1 South, ahead of the start of open pit mining in the first quarter of 2020.
The M1 South open pit is expected to be mined out in the first two years of production at Sanbrado. The deposit is believed to contain more than 150,000oz with an average grade of 5.5g/t gold.
West African Resources holds a 90% stake in the Sanbrado project, with the Government of Burkina Faso being free carried for a 10% interest.