NIGER Commissioning is already underway at the Samira Hill gold mine, and proud owners SEMAFO and ETRUSCAN RESOURCES have set Oct. 5 for the official opening ceremonies.
The first phase of pre-stripping of the main Samira pit has been completed, and ore is now being mined. Seasonal pumping from the Sirba River to the main water supply dam is ongoing and will continue for the next two months or until the dam, which has a capacity of 4.5 million cubic metres, is filled. Tailings dam construction is proceeding well and will be ready to accept tailings by early August. All plant steelwork and mechanical installations are complete, and the final phase of the piping and electrical works are also nearly complete. The power plant has been installed and is undergoing its initial trials.
Annual production from Samira Hill in the first year is forecast to be 135,000 oz of gold at a cash operating cost of US$177/oz. With current minable reserves of 10 million tonnes grading 2.21 g/t Au, the mine is expected to produce an average of 100,000 oz/year at an average cash operating cost of US$203 per ounce.
The Samira Hill project is owned 20% by the State of Niger and 80% by AFRICAN GEOMINE MINING DEVELOP CORP., which is a 50:50 partnership of Montreal-based Semafo and Windsor, N.S.-based Etruscan. See also www.semafo.com or www.etruscan.com.