MONTREAL, Sept. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX-SMF) today announced a
series of initiatives and detailed action plan to address the disappointing
results experienced at its Kiniero mine.
Since the inception of mining activities in 2002, the Kiniero mine has
produced 238,000 ounces of gold primarily from mining narrow vein-type
structures. During this period, the company has been adept at exploiting these
structures using its acquired knowledge of the area's geology to produce gold
in an economic fashion. Recently, however, the structures within the actual
pits were recognized as subsidiary structures of those from the old pits.
These substructures, planned as the principal source of ore for 2007, differ
from those previously mined, generating additional internal dilution and added
complexity in mining. Previously published results show an increase in
stripping ratios from what historically ran in the range of 10:1, to 17:1 this
Following a full geological review initiated and directed by our
qualified person, Michel Crevier, implementation of a series of initiatives is
underway that will restore the mine to satisfactory economic production during
the 4th quarter of 2007. Principal aspects of these initiatives include:
- Initiation of a geological review and comprehensive analysis in order
to further validate our understanding of those areas to be mined in
- A shift of mining operations from the current Northeast Gobele D and
Gobele C pits to the West Balan pit. West Balan area holds more than
77 000 oz. of gold, which we expect to mine at an average strip ratio
of 7:1. Cash operating costs in West Balan are estimated at $350-$375
per ounce. Recent drillings confirm the presence of larger structures
in the West Balan deposit, which is host to a more continuous and
homogeneous mineralization. Previously announced exploration results
also demonstrated further potential of extended mineralization to the
- Mill maintenance work originally scheduled for this December is taking
place at present in order to ensure high availability and satisfactory
throughput throughout the 4th quarter.
- An access road has been established to the West Balan pit, located
5km from the mill.
- Pre stripping mining activities have been initiated and transport of
the first ore to take place early in Q4.
Semafo's Mining Operations Manager since 2004, Patrick Moryoussef, Mining
Engineer, has relocate as an expatriate to assume the mine manager function
temporarily during the implementation of these important initiatives.
"Kiniero production is unsatisfactory," said Benoit Desormeaux, Semafo's
Chief Operating Officer who is currently directing operations from the site.
"We remain confident, however, that actions currently underway will return
Kiniero to proper production levels as of Q4 2007 and set the stage for 2008."
As a result, the 2007 Kiniero production forecast has been revised to
30,000 ounces. The above initiatives will see a return to production levels in
2008 in the 45,000 oz. range which is consistent with the average historical
production level for the mine.
Semafo is a Canadian-based mining company conducting exploration,
development and production activities in West Africa. The Company currently
operates two gold mines, the Kiniero mine in Guinea and the Samira Hill mine
in Niger. A third mine, the Mana gold project in Burkina Faso, is under
construction with plant commissioning scheduled for December 2007. Semafo is
committed to evolve conscientiously to become a major player in its
geographical area of interest, while maintaining values and strengthening
relationships to increase shareholder value.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements", including, but
not limited to, the statements regarding the Company's expectations as to the
market price of gold, strategic plans, future commercial production,
production targets, timetables, mine operating costs, fixed assets expenses,
mineral reserve estimates and to the company's perspectives. Forward-looking
statements express, as at the date of this press release, our estimates,
forecasts, projections, expectations and beliefs as to future events or
results. Forward-looking statements are reasonable, but involve a number of
risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements
will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could
differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that
could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations
expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not
limited to, factors associated with fluctuations in the market price of
precious metals, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of
mineral reserves, risks related to the grade of reserves, risks related to
hedging strategies, risks of delays in construction and requirements of
For further information:
For further information: SEMAFO: Benoit La Salle, President & CEO, (514)
744-4408, firstname.lastname@example.org; RENMARK: Tina Cameron:
email@example.com; Christopher Wells: firstname.lastname@example.org,
(514) 939-3989, Fax: (514) 939-3717, www.renmarkfinancial.com