MONTREAL, April 22 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today reported the results of metallurgical tests and rock mechanics investigations on Wona bedrock at the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso. Studies were carried out by SGS South Africa ("SGS") and Golder Associates ("Golder") respectively as part of the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies ("PFS/FS") conducted by Met-Chem Canada Inc., currently in progress.
Highlights of the SGS metallurgical test work program completed on Wona Underground demonstrate better than expected results:
- Estimated average recovery rate in bedrock of 81%, representing a 5%
increase over the previous estimated average recovery rate of 76%
- Head grades correlate with identified samples from geological zones in
the underground resource model
- Decrease in estimated reagents consumption to process the ore in
- Bedrock work index varies between 15.7 kWh/t and 18.8 kWh/t, in line
with the current plant expansion aimed at processing 6,000 tonnes per
day in bedrock
"This 5% increase in the recovery rate represents an important upside to our cash flow." said Benoit Desormeaux, SEMAFO's Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "At the prevailing gold price of approximately US$1,140 per ounce, this increase in recovery represents over $40,000,000 in additional cash flow from the bedrock reserves in the Wona open pit plus the improved profitability of the preliminary economic assessment ("PEA")."
Highlights of the rock mechanics test work program underway by Golder on Wona Underground demonstrate:
- No "fatal flaws" that may prevent underground development or production
- Geotechnical investigations in bedrock indicate rock mass quality and
permeability conditions suitable for development and infrastructure
- Better than expected dilution rates compared to the PEA
- Improved stope dimension requirements, allowing increased productivity
and mining method flexibility compared to the PEA
"We continue to be impressed by the various independent study results that will ultimately constitute the basis of the PFS/FS," said Patrick Moryoussef, SEMAFO's Mining Operations Manager. "Based on the outcome of rock mechanics and metallurgical studies, we anticipate superior pre-feasibility study results."
Results of the SEMAFO's prefeasibility and feasibility studies of the underground mining operation are expected in the second and third quarter of 2010 respectively. This will lead to an update of Mana's total reserves and resources.
SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa.
CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "in progress", "estimated", "anticipate", "expected", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", growth", "believe", "strategy", "moving forward" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to complete the pre-feasibility and the feasibility studies, the ability to find organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2009 Annual MD&A and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.
SOURCE SEMAFO INC.
For further information: For further information: Benoit La Salle, President & CEO, SEMAFO, (514) 744-4408, 1-888-744-4408, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sofia St Laurent, Communications, SEMAFO, (514) 744-4408, 1-888-744-4408, email@example.com