Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) has completed the construction of the underground mine at its Syama project in Mali, and the first ore has been extracted from the sublevel cave. According to the company, this marks the ‘beginning of the main caving operation’ and is an important milestone for the company as the underground mine has been completed on time and on budget, which isn’t a common combination in the mining sector. The development of the underground mine started in the fourth quarter of 2016, and it’s almost a miracle to see this 27 month construction period being completed without any significant delays.
The new fully automated sublevel cave gold mine is an important step in Resolute’s business plan as it continues to optimize its Malian asset. Resolute also recently announced it’s planning to build a 40 MegaWatt solar plant which will provide electrical power to the Syama mine. The solar plant has the potential to cut the power costs by 40%, and this should enable the Syama mine to produce 300,000 ounces of gold per year at an AISC of less than $750/oz.
400,000 tonnes of ore have alreacy been extracted from the underground mine, and the mine should reach its run-rate capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per year by the end of the second quarter this year, where after the company will focus on the full automatization of the mine.