Cote d'Ivoire

Agbaou Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start2013
Mine Life2026
SnapshotAt Agbaou, Allied Gold is currently integrating the mine into the adjacent Bonikro operation to create a centralized mining complex covering a highly prospective greenstone belt with upside optionality from additional milling capacity. It is expected that Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves will increase at Agbaou through additional exploration. Agbaou has a targeted strategic mine life of at least 10 years.
Related AssetBonikro

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
SODEMI 5 % Indirect
Government of Côte d’Ivoire 10 % Indirect
Agbaou Gold Operations S.A. (operator) 85 % Direct
Allied Gold Corp. 85 % Indirect
In 2021, Allied purchased an 85% stake in Agbaou Gold Operations SA (the entity that owns Agbaou) from Endeavour Mining. The balance of ownership is held by the Côte d’Ivoire government (10%) and a Côte d’Ivoire’s state company for mining development, SODEMI (5%).

Contractors

ContractorContractDescriptionRef. DateSource
Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE) Power supply Power generation, transmission and distribution is managed and controlled by the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Électricité (CIE). Jul 5, 2023
Corica Mining Services Mining All mining and associated activities are undertaken by a contractor, Corica. Jul 5, 2023

Deposit type

  • Vein / narrow vein
  • Mesothermal

Summary:

At Agbaou, the target deposit type being explored for is the mesothermal auriferous sulphide (pyrite + pyrrhotite) and quartz vein style mineralization. The gold mineralization within Agbaou deposit is hosted within a specific quartz vein type that occurs along a broad area and can be characterized by a wide range of quartz-vein types, brecciation, boudinage, sericitic and carbonate alteration.

The lateritic cover is generally between five and ten metres thick with a very well developed weathering profile is over much of the area.

Mineralization at Agbaou can be broadly separated into two categories: laterite cap (generally >0.5g/t Au) and primary (free gold and sulphide hosted). The laterite cap, which covers the entire deposit area, is of variable thickness (1 to 5m) and represents secondary (re-mobilized) mineralization. The primary mineralization is associated with a system of gold bearing quartz-veins hosted by tightly folded Birimian-age sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The quartz veins can occur within either meta-volcanic or meta-sedimentary rocks, but the host rock is typically strongly sheared. The primary mineralized envelope is broad (60 to 100m), consisting of a number (up to seven zones in Agbaou Main) of mineralized zones that generally follow the limb of the regional fold. Particulate gold mineralization is located within quartz veins and along wall rock-quartz vein boundaries.

The mineralized quartz veins at Agbaou have a visually distinctive texture that has been described as “mottled”. Gold mineralization is also associated with variable amounts of sulphides, mainly pyrrhotite and pyrite. These veins are easily identifiable in the diamond drilling core intersections from the fresh rock below the saprolite/fresh rock boundary.

The deposits are aligned along a northeast trending, steeply southeast dipping structure that marks the axial plane of the large-scale, regional fold.

Reserves at December 31, 2022

The cut-off grades used for Mineral Reserves reporting were informed by a $1,500/oz gold price and vary from 0.39 to 0.63 g/t Au for different ore types due to differences in recoveries, costs for ore processing and ore haulage.
The Agbaou Mineral Resource Estimate is listed at 0.5 g/t Au cut-off grade, constrained within an $1,800/oz pit shell and depleted to December 31, 2022.

Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
CategoryTonnage CommodityGradeContained Metal
Proven 920 kt Gold 1.04 g/t 31 koz
Probable 5,991 kt Gold 1.78 g/t 343 koz
Proven & Probable 6,912 kt Gold 1.68 g/t 374 koz
Measured 1,060 kt Gold 1.19 g/t 41 koz
Indicated 9,460 kt Gold 1.98 g/t 602 koz
Measured & Indicated 10,520 kt Gold 1.9 g/t 643 koz
Inferred 2,720 kt Gold 2.31 g/t 202 koz

Mining Methods

  • Truck & Shovel / Loader

Summary:

Contractor-based mining was the preferred option for Agbaou and BCM was the selected mining contractor. BCM is responsible for the site preparation (including removal of vegetation) haul road construction, excavation and haulage of ore to the Run of Mine (“ROM”) pad and waste to the waste dumps, oversize breakage and equipment maintenance.

The designed pits are split into three main areas; North, West and South Agbaou pits across predominantly oxide and fresh ore zones. Oxide ore requires very limited drilling and blasting, and transition ore is limited due to the approximately 10 m wide zone in which it occurs. All mining and associated activities are undertaken by a contractor, Corica.

The mining operating methodology used is open pit mining on 10.0 m benches and flitched off at 2.5 m increments including the heave from blasting. Waste is taken to the designated waste dumps adjacent to each of the pit stages. Later in the LOM plan, waste stripping will use 3.3 m flitches to maximize extraction of the waste.

The ramps are designed for the Caterpillar 777 haul trucks at 25.0 m widths and includes a 3.5 m wide safety berm and 1.0 m wide drain. The gradient has been designed at 10%.

Comminution

Crushers and Mills

TypeModelSizePowerQuantity
Jaw crusher 1
Pebble crusher 1
SAG mill Outotec 5.1m x 5.5m 2.3 MW 1
Ball mill Outotec 4.5m x 6.9m 2.3 MW 1

Summary:

The open circuit primary crusher and open circuit secondary crusher deliver a product which is nominally P80 of 30 mm to the crushed ore surge bin and stockpile ahead of the SAG mill.

The milling plant consists of a primary Outotec SAG Mill, 5.1 m diameter by 5.5 m long with 2.3 MW installed power, operated at 72% critical speed, with a discharge screen and the pebble crushing circuit receiving >12 mm and <30 mm pebbles. The secondary Outotec Ball Mill is 4.5 m diameter by 6.9 m long with 2.3 MW installed power operated at 75% critical speed. The secondary mill is in closed circuit with a hydrocyclone cluster with eleven 380 mm cyclones. The milled product has a nominal P80 of 75 µm.

Processing

  • Crush & Screen plant
  • Gravity separation
  • Smelting
  • Centrifugal concentrator
  • Carbon re-activation kiln
  • Wet Screening
  • Inline Leach Reactor (ILR)
  • Agitated tank (VAT) leaching
  • Carbon in leach (CIL)
  • Carbon adsorption-desorption-recovery (ADR)
  • AARL elution
  • Dewatering
  • Solvent Extraction & Electrowinning
  • Cyanide (reagent)

Summary:

The process for the recovery of gold at Agbaou is a conventional free-milling CIL circuit consisting of crushing, two stage grinding, gravity recovery, cyanidation, followed by electrowinning and smelting to produce gold doré. Plant tailings are disposed to an engineered TSF located a few hundred metres from the process plant after cyanide destruction.

The basic plant flowsheet includes the following main areas:
• Primary and secondary crushing;
• Crushed ore storage and reclaim;
• SAG mill – open circuit with pebble crushing;
• Ball mill – closed circuit with cyclone classification;
• Gravity concentration;
• Intensive cyanide leaching of concentrate;
• CIL leaching;
• Elution circuit, electrowinning and gold smelting;
• Tailings pumping to disposal site;
• Including cyanide destruction;
• Reagent mixing, storage and distribution;
• Process, raw and potable water distribution;
• Air supply services including oxygen plants.

The gravity circuit treats a portion of the hydrocyclone underflow, after degritting at 2.5 mm, through a Knelson XD30 concentrator with the concentrate being leached in a Gekko Systems inline-leach-reactor (ILR) with a dedicated electrowinning cell. Historical gravity recovery is reported at approximately 30%, although some production reports indicate a range from 20% to 44%.

The coarse grit and the ILR tails are returned to the milling circuit for additional size reduction prior to the leach train.

Leaching follows trash removal at 0.7 mm x 18.0 mm through a vibrating screen. There are six 2,000 m3 CIL tanks resulting in a total leach time of 15 hours for saprolite ore and 29 hours for fresh ore due to higher density. The CIL tanks have Alloytech 0.833 mm wedge wire interstage screens. Carbon is pumped counter current with recessed impellor pumps, prior to transfer to the elution circuit. Final tailings safety screening is completed with a vibrating screen at 1.0 mm aperture.

The split AARL elution circuit consists of one rubber lined acid wash column and a separate stainless steel elution column with a capacity of 6.5 tonnes of carbon. Regeneration of carbon is completed in an electrically heated 350 kg/h rotary kiln. The regeneration kiln is located within the elution section with quenched carbon pumped to the last CIL tank with fine carbon removal by screening.

The gold room contains the ILR with two electrowinning cells (one for gravity and one for elution), each being 1.0 m x 1.0 m with 18 steel wool cathodes (expandable to 22 cathodes). Gold slimes are smelted on site into doré for final shipment to the refinery.

Cyanide detoxification is achieved in two tanks, offering a total residence time of two hours with the weak acid dissociable (WAD) cyanide content monitored continuously by analyser. Detoxified tailings are pumped to the unlined downstream constructed TSF for spigotting to encourage beaching. Recovered water is pumped back to the plant for reuse.

Recoveries & Grades:

CommodityParameter20222021202020192018201720162015
Gold Recovery Rate, % 94.794.4949594949797
Gold Head Grade, g/t 1.31.441.281.621.72.022.272.15

Water Supply

Summary:

Water supply is 71% from recycled process water and 29% from the water storage dam and/or from boreholes.

RAW WATER SUPPLY
Rain run-off and a bore field make up the raw water supply. A 1000m³ raw water tank, situated in the plant, is used to store and provide raw water to the plant. The bottom part of the tank is dedicated storage facility for the fire water. The fire water system consists of an electric jockey pump to maintain the desired pressure in the fire reticulation system, an electric fire water supply pump and a diesel driven standby pump that starts automatically when a power failure occurs.

POTABLE WATER SUPPLY
Potable water is supplied from the raw water pond, which is treated through a filtration and sterilization system before being stored in a dedicated potable water tank. Potable water supply pumps for the plant, the various drinking water and ablution facilities throughout the plant and offices, and all safety showers on site.

Production

CommodityUnits20222021202020192018201720162015
Gold koz 103108105138141177196181
All production numbers are expressed as metal in doré.

Operational metrics

Metrics20222021202020192018201720162015
Hourly processing rate 333 t
Ore tonnes mined 1.77 Mt1.38 Mt2,376 kt2,183 kt2,399 kt2,983 kt2,797 kt2,818 kt
Waste 23,082,525 t16.6 Mt19,783 kt23,166 kt27,337 kt25,117 kt22,585 kt17,629 kt
Tonnes milled 2.56 Mt2.56 Mt2.74 Mt2,699 kt2,830 kt2,906 kt2,827 kt2,665 kt
Stripping / waste ratio 8.33 10.6 11.4 8.42 8.07 6.26
Total tonnes mined 22,159 kt25,349 kt29,735 kt28,101 kt25,382 kt20,447 kt

Production Costs

CommodityUnits202220212020201920182017
Total cash costs (sold) Gold USD 908 / oz   627 / oz   677 / oz   557 / oz  
Total cash costs (sold) Gold USD 1,129 / oz **   1,125 / oz **  
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold USD 1,027 / oz   805 / oz   819 / oz   647 / oz  
All-in sustaining costs (sold) Gold USD 1,246 / oz **   1,169 / oz **  
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

Currency202220202019201820172016
OP mining costs ($/t mined) USD 2.81  2.46  2.63  2.54  2.22  
Processing costs ($/t milled) USD 10.3  8.37  7.66  7.69  7.42  6.6  
G&A ($/t milled) USD 3.56  4.95  4.4  4.15  4.66  

Financials

Units202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures M USD 4.1  3.2  13.9   25  
Sustaining costs M USD 4.1  3.2  12.5   16.2   13.4   7.6  
Revenue M USD 189.9  168.6  184.5   191.5   180.3   219.7  
Gross profit M USD 36.5  13.3  
Operating Income M USD 54   42.2   81.6  
Pre-tax Income M USD 33.8   51.8   39.2   81.2  
After-tax Income M USD -21.8   23.2   41.4   80.6  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Ref. Date: July 5, 2023

SourceSource
HME TypeModelSizeQuantityStatusLeased or
Contractor
Dozer (crawler) Caterpillar D9R 1 Existing Leased
Dozer (crawler) Caterpillar D9GC 4 Existing Leased
Dozer (crawler) Caterpillar D9R 2 Existing Leased
Drill (blasthole) Sandvik DP1500i 2 Existing Leased
Drill (blasthole) Sandvik DP1500i 1 Required Leased
Excavator Caterpillar 6015B 2 Existing Leased
Excavator Komatsu PC2000 2 Existing Leased
Excavator Caterpillar 349D 1 Required Leased
Grader Caterpillar 16M 2 Existing Leased
Loader (FEL) Caterpillar 777F 3 Existing Leased
Truck (haul) Caterpillar 773E 13 Existing Leased
Truck (haul) Caterpillar 777D 100 t 5 Existing Leased
Truck (haul) Caterpillar 777F 5 Existing Leased

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
Chief Geologist Bindè Martin ADI LinkedIn Sep 5, 2023
Mining Manager Hassan Ally LinkedIn Sep 5, 2023
Operations Manager Herman Prinsloo LinkedIn Sep 5, 2023
Plant Maintenance Superintendent Jean Jacques Kouadio LinkedIn Aug 30, 2023
Plant Manager Mohamed Traore LinkedIn Sep 5, 2023
Plant Operations Manager Jurie Majoor LinkedIn May 24, 2024
Supply Chain Superintendent Mireille Tanoh-N’Dri LinkedIn Sep 5, 2023

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
335 992 1,308 2022
302 1,009 1,311 2021
285 2018
216 362 578 2014

Aerial view:

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