MONTREAL, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today announced that the Company has produced its one millionth ounce of gold. The milestone pour took place at SEMAFO's Samira Hill Mine in Niger.
The Samira Hill Mine commenced production in 2004 and was SEMAFO's second operation in West Africa. Samira Hill has produced 385,000 ounces of gold to date and has consistently maintained a nine-year mine life.
"We look forward to continuing our successful record of discovery, development and operations," said Benoit La Salle, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Twelve years ago, SEMAFO was a small grassroots exploration company with great aspirations. Today we celebrate the production of our one millionth ounce of gold, a goal that very few peer companies have achieved, particularly in developing countries. Our team has grown from our humble beginnings of four persons to a workforce of more than 1,800 individuals. Our exploration programs are returning excellent results and we look forward to realizing SEMAFO's true potential in the not-so-distant future. We remain confident that our aggressive exploration programs are a fundamental part of our longer-term objective to become a 500,000 ounce-per-year gold producer."
"This is an important milestone for our organization," said Benoit Desormeaux, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "SEMAFO's one million ounces of gold were produced at an average cash operating cost of $386 per ounce. In eight years, we processed 13.5 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.57 g/t and at an average recovery rate of 88%."
SEMAFO recently announced a two-year $6,000,000 exploration program at Samira Hill. Recent drilling results at Samira Hill included the discovery of two new gold zones, the Libdorado North Zone and the Boulon Jounga Extension with in-hole values including 5.59 g/t Au over 10 meters and 5.11 g/t Au over 11 meters. The Libdorado North Zone and the Boulon Jounga Extension are located immediately adjacent to current open pit mining operations.
The Company first began mining operations in 2002 with the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. Kiniero has produced a total of 355,000 ounces of gold to date and through the years has continuously replaced ounces mined. In April 2008, SEMAFO commissioned the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, marking the third time the Company has successfully brought a gold mine to production in West Africa. The Mana Mine has already produced a total of 260,000 ounces of gold.
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 "look forward", "continuing", "achievement", "objective", "growth", "strategy", "become", "estimated", "evolve", "pursuing" 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 of Samira Hill and Mana to maintain a nine year and eight year mine life, respectively, the ability to become a 500,000 ounce-per-year gold producer, the ability to complete the recently announced two-year $6,000,000 exploration program at Samira Hill, the ability to maximize shareholder value, effectively manage existing assets and pursue 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, Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408, email@example.com; Sofia St Laurent, Communications, SEMAFO, (514) 744-4408, Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408, firstname.lastname@example.org