(MENAFN Press) AMSTERDAM & OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Saturday, January 19th 2013 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nord Gold N.V. ("Nordgold" or "the Company", LSE: NORD), an independent, internationally diversified, pure-play gold producer strategically focused on emerging markets, is pleased to announce that construction of its Bissa Mine in Burkina Faso is now complete and gold production has begun.
The mine was officially opened by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso Luc Adolphe Tiao and CEO of Nordgold Nikolai Zelensky, in the presence of His Excellency the President of the National Assembly Roch Marc Christian Kabore, the President of the Constitutional Council Dr. D Albert Millogo, the Minister for Mines, Quarries & Energy Mr. Lamoussa Salif Kabore, regional governors and other officials.
Bissa has been completed ahead of schedule and on budget. Total investment in the project was US 250 mln and it was completed in 15 months.
Bissa Mine “ Key Facts
100km north of Ouagadougou
Access to national highway
Crushing, milling, CIL
Up to 200 Koz per annum
Proven & Probable Reserves
Anticipated cash costs
Bissa is now the Company's second operating asset in Burkina Faso and the third asset in Africa, bringing the total number of Nordgold's operating mines to nine. In Burkina Faso Nordgold already operates the Taparko mine, which was the first mine built in the country in 2007. The launch of Bissa makes Nordgold the first gold miner operating two mines in Burkina Faso.
Bissa is situated in the rural commune of Sabce, 100 km north of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. As at January 2012, the project's proved and probable reserves (JORC) of gold were estimated at 1,803 koz at 1.83 g/t while measured, indicated and inferred resources totaled 4,929 koz (1.1 g/t).
According to the current reserves' estimates, the life of mine is expected to be around 10 years. Meanwhile the Company sees potential to increase the mine's reserve base through conversion of resources to reserves and its ongoing exploration programme. Planned capacity of the open pit mine is 4 mt of ore per annum, producing up to 200 koz of gold annually. The plant consists of crushing, milling (SAG and ball mills) and carbon-in-leach circuits (CIL), a method of recovering gold from solution.
In 2013 Bissa is expected to produce up to 100 koz of gold. More precise guidance will be given during the ramp-up process later this year.
Nordgold will issue full year 2012 operational results on 22 January and will host a media call to discuss the results and the completion of Bissa.
Philip Baum, Chairman of Nordgold commented:
"First gold production from the Bissa Gold Mine is a very important milestone for us. We have seen the project completed through from start to finish in just 15 months, ahead of schedule and on budget. It clearly demonstrates our team's ability to develop these significant projects and will serve to accelerate our organic growth for the benefit of all stakeholders. Bissa has the potential to be a major gold producing asset and it forms a key part of Nordgold's growth strategy alongside the Company's other leading development project - Gross in Russia. We expect that the first ore from Gross will be treated at our Neryungry mine facility by the end of 2013."
Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold, added:
"We are delighted to announce that the construction of the Bissa Gold Mine is now complete. Bissa is a key development project for our company and central to our growth strategy, but more importantly it is a crucial producing asset for the people of Burkina Faso. We have made real efforts to cultivate a good relationship with the citizens of our host country, on both a local and a national level, and I would like to thank the Government of Burkina Faso for their support as we have developed this significant mine. As we move Bissa to full capacity, we will also focus our attention on delivering the Gross development project. Together with the ramp up of Bissa, Nordgold is very well placed to increase its global production considerably."