Tietto Minerals has tabled a maiden “measured” gold resource of 7.7 million tonnes going 1.4 grams per tonne for 350,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal at its remarkable Abujar project in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa.
The company said the resource was defined through shallow infill drilling at its AG Core pit and has significantly de-risked the first two years of production at the venture by lifting the confidence in the ore body to the status of “measured”.
It also said its new measured gold resource has already been added to its 3.45-million-ounce inventory and that it is now working towards delivering a proven ore reserve in the next few months.
According to the company, the combined “measured” and “indicated” resource at the AG Core pit, part of the larger Abujar project, now stands at 26 million tonnes at 1.4 grams per tonnes gold for 1.15 million ounces.
Remarkably, the results push the mineral resource estimate for the total Abujar project tantalisingly close to the magic 100 million tonne mark at 98.7 million tonnes with a grade of just over one gram per tonne gold.
Management says its maiden measured resource has given the project a massive vote of confidence given the estimates are “robust” and “conservative” with several restrictions applied to its calculations to help limit the influence of exceptionally high-grade gold hits scored at the project to date.
Interestingly, the measured and indicated resource in the definitive feasibility pit at its AG Core now account for 95 per cent of the resource, with only a meagre 5 per cent sitting in the lower confidence inferred category.
During the design stage, throughput optimisation work has increased the Abujar mill’s throughput by 12.5 per cent to 4.5 million tonnes per annum of fresh ore, compared to earlier figures of around 4 million tonnes.
Tietto intends to update Abujar’s life-of-mine production plan later in the year using the updated mineral resource estimate, boosted mill output and higher gold prices.
The spot price of gold is currently more than 35 per cent higher than the US$1407 per ounce figure originally utilised in a definitive feasibility study.
Moving forward, Tietto says it will continue its infill drilling blitz to keep driving down the project’s risk and boost its confidence in the mineral resource.
The company has already launched a 20,000 metre campaign at its nearby AG South deposit to convert its indicated resources to measured, sinking 81 holes to date for 13,445m.
The Perth-based outfit is also putting together a smaller 4000m program at its AG Core deposit to further boost its measured resources ahead of its next mineral resource estimate.
Tietto has touted its fully-funded Abujar gold project as West Africa’s next big gold mine and with the project now de-risked to a point for its first two years of production, the hurdles to production are starting to fall.
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