Gryphon Minerals (ASX:GRY) has announced the results of an updated scoping study on its Banfora gold project in Burkina Faso. Gryphon has optimized the previously existing scoping study but has also added a conventional 1Mtpa carbon in leach plant to the flow sheet, which could provide additional flexibility to Gryphon as depending on the market situation and the availability of (debt) financing, the company could decide to build the plant simultaneously with the heap leach operations or add it later on, as some sort of expansion.

The updated scoping study calls for the Banfora project to be initially developed as a heap leach operation which could be brought into production for a minimal initial capital expenditure of $85M resulting in an annual production of 63,300 ounces per year in the first two years at a C1 cash cost of $665/oz.

The expansion with the carbon in leach option will cost an additional $45M and could be funded by the cash flow generated in the heap leach phase. The CIL plant will process ore with an average grade of 2.54 g/t at a higher production cost, resulting in an expected total annual production rate of 130,000 ounces at an AISC over the entire life of mine of $811/oz.

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Disclosure: The author holds no position in Gryphon Minerals. Please see our disclaimer for current positions.

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