Tietto Minerals receives license for Abujar Gold Project
West African gold explorer and developer Tietto Minerals has received approval from Côte d’Ivoire’s Le Ministère des Mines, du Pétrole et de l’Energieh (Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Energy) for a mining license for Tietto’s 3.02Moz Abujar Gold Project, paving the way for development of West Africa’s next gold mine.
In a statement, the company says its systemic exploration over the 70-kilometre strike of the Abujar Project’s three tenements has identified three mineralised gold corridors – the West Corridor, Central Corridor and East Corridor. In the Central Corridor, Tietto has defined an updated JORC Resource of 3.02Moz gold at Abujar over three deposits:
- AG (Abujar Gludehi): 49.6Mt at 1.5 g/t Au for 2.3Moz
- APG (Abujar Pischon and Golikro): 31Mt at 0.7g/t Au for 0.7Moz
- SG (South Gamina): 0.5Mt at 1.4g/t Au for 0.02Moz
The combined strike length of these three prospects accounts for approximately 10 percent of the overall strike length of the 70-kilometre mineralised Abujar gold corridor.
In total, the company says it has defined 33 gold prospects to date, including 20 gold prospects inside the mining license with gold resource upside to realise through ongoing diamond drilling.
Systematic drilling is underway to test the new prospects identified to date and it is planned to use six Company‐owned diamond drill rigs to complete this exploration drilling by Q3 2021, Tietto says in its statement.
“Another milestone is secured following the grant of the Mining Licence for our 3.02Moz Abujar Gold Project. We are in the final leg of the permitting process (ESIA ‐ Environmental Approval secured in October 2020), with negotiations beginning on the terms and conditions of the Mining Convention and expect to conclude these discussions in the first half of 2021. Tietto’s Board recently approved expenditure to advance local site works and secure long‐lead items in anticipation of securing this final approval," said Dr Caigen Wang, Tietto managing director.
“Work on the Abujar PFS remains on track and we expect to deliver the results in Q1 CY21. Exploration drilling continues to ramp up following completion of the Côte d’Ivoire general election, and we look forward to reporting results in coming weeks and months from this aggressive program designed to grow Abujar gold resources at extremely low drilling costs.
“The Company is well funded to deliver our dual‐track strategy and we continue to move closer to our goal of developing Abujar into West Africa’s next gold mine,” Wang adds.
“The Board and I would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its officers as well as local communities for the support shown to our team. We also wish to thank our team for their professionalism and work ethic that made this milestone possible.”
In it latest quarterly report, the company states it is "well positioned" to advance its dual strategy in 2021:
- Accelerate exploration to drive rapid resource growth New 70,000m diamond drilling program using its own 6 DD rigs drilling at US$35/m
Drill testing 8.5km of fertile Abujar main shear along strike from AG and APG Drill testing high priority regional targets Artisanal workings dotted along 70km mineralised corridor
- Fast tracking development of the Abujar Gold Project Growing 3.02 million ounce gold open pit opportunity
Feasibility study underway ‐ PFS in Q1 2021 and DFS expected Q3 2021 Clear pathway to development – permitting underway, near infrastructure
Well‐funded with over A$60M in cash
Barrick profit beats expectations as copper, gold prices up
Barrick Gold has reported a 78% jump in first-quarter profit, beating analyst expectations thanks to rising gold and copper prices, and said it was on track to meet annual forecasts.
Production in the second half is expected to be higher than the first, the gold miner said, thanks in part to the ramp-up of underground mining at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania and higher expected grades at Lumwana in Zambia, reports Reuters
Barrick’s first-quarter gold production fell to 1.10 million from 1.25 million ounces due partly to lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in Dominican Republic.
Adjusted profit surged 78% to $507mn in the quarter ended March 31, from $285mn a year earlier, and Barrick announced a 9 cent per share quarterly dividend.
Stronger prices helped boost Barrick’s revenue from its copper mines in Chile, Saudi Arabia and Zambia by 31% from the fourth quarter. Overall earnings per share were $0.29, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $0.27.
“We expect a positive stock reaction to the earnings beat and strong cash flow,” said Credit Suisse analysts.
Potential for South Africa merger
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who has championed mergers across the gold industry, said he backed the idea of South Africa-listed miners Goldfields and AngloGold Ashanti combining.
Speculation has been swirling around the two companies and Sibanye-Stillwater, whose CEO Neal Froneman floated the idea of a three-way merger.
“I’m a South African, and this country has such a great mining history and it would be great to see a real gold business come out of the many failed discussions that we’ve seen,” said Bristow.
Goldfields declined to comment. In a statement, AngloGold Ashanti said it was focused on delivering on its growth plan to unlock value from its portfolio of gold assets.
Bristow also said he had met with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new mines minister and other officials and was continuing to work on getting $900mn belonging to its Kibali mine joint venture out of the country.
“We have a solution, it just needs to be sanctioned by the appropriate authorities which haven’t been around for a while,” he said, referring to a recent government overhaul by President Felix Tshisekedi.