Roxgold Inc. ("Roxgold" or the "Company") (TSX: ROXG) (OTCQX: ROGFF) is pleased to report its preliminary production results for the first quarter of 2020 ("Q1 2020") from the Company’s Yaramoko Mine Complex located in Burkina Faso ("Yaramoko").
- Produced 32,380 ounces of gold at an average grade of 8.7 grams per tonne in Q1
- Reported quarterly plant throughput of 1,383 tonnes per day ("tpd") for a total of 125,879 tonnes which exceeded increased nameplate capacity of 1,100 tpd by approximately 26%
- Strengthened our liquidity position to approximately $50 million at the end of the first quarter
- Actively managing COVID-19 with previously self-isolated cases returning to the workforce
- Séguéla PEA announcement on track for early in the second quarter 2020
- Reaffirms annual gold production guidance of between 120,000 and 130,000 ounces subject to existing operating conditions being maintained
"Yaramoko continues to operate well with a strong quarter to start the year with tonnage and grades ahead of expectations. During these challenging times, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce and local communities. Mining and production activities have continued uninterrupted, which is a testament to the dedication and fortitude of our team at site," said John Dorward, President and CEO. "As a company, we remain confident that we can effectively navigate and respond to this rapidly evolving pandemic. The Yaramoko operation has bolstered its safeguards and risk mitigation efforts to limit the impacts of the virus, while the Company has strengthened its liquidity position in order to minimize the exposure to operating and financial risks in the market. Looking ahead, we are eagerly anticipating the release of the Séguéla Gold Project PEA shortly and look forward to highlighting the details of what we believe will be Roxgold’s second cornerstone asset."
Table 1 – Q1 2020 Production Metrics
Ore processed (tonnes)
Ore processed (tpd)
Head grade (g/t)
Gold ounces produced
Gold ounces sold
|Average realized selling price (per ounce)|| |
The Yaramoko Mine Complex produced 32,380 ounces, based on processing 125,879 tonnes at an average grade of 8.7 grams per tonne and average mill recoveries of 97.9%. Mining activities continued to see strong ore production with a total of 134,472 tonnes of ore mined and 1,453 metres of development. Decline development in the 55 Zone has now reached the 4754 level, which is approximately 560 metres below surface, with increased ore drive development. Ore development at Bagassi South has commenced on the 5095 level, which is approximately 220 metres below surface, while the decline continues to advance as planned. Good progress on ore development has seen the Bagassi South mine largely developed, providing additional stoping access for the remainder of the year.
The processing plant availability was 96.4% in the quarter and reported an average throughput rate of 1,383 tonnes per day exceeding nameplate capacity by approximately 26%. Average throughput was lower in the quarter due to a planned 39-hour mill shutdown for a complete mill relining. Gold ounces sold of 30,126 ounces were lower than production due to the timing of gold shipments at the end of the quarter.
Update on COVID-19 response
Management of the current global COVID-19 crisis is ongoing. Operations at Yaramoko currently remain unaffected with heightened preventative measures and response plans in place to mitigate and minimize any potential impacts from the virus. The Company is continually assessing the health and safety risks to the Company’s personnel and contractors at its operations and offices.
On the 22 March 2020, the Company announced that two contractors at the Yaramoko mine in Burkina Faso tested positive for COVID-19. Both of these cases experienced only mild symptoms and have now recovered. Additionally, a majority of the previously isolated workers who were identified via contact-tracing have returned to the workforce after completing their prescribed isolation periods and testing. The Company has continued to enhance its testing and on-site medical support as well as reducing all non-essential mine site personnel. We have also increased the supply chain thresholds for consumables which will enable the mine to operate for extended periods.
While Yaramoko continues to operate in accordance with the annual operating plan, a number of contingency plans have been developed in the event that underground mining rates were affected by a prolonged Covid-19 related interruption. These options include the processing of surface stockpiles, of which there is approximately four months of low-grade material (~3g/t Au) available.
Roxgold finished the quarter with approximately $50 million of cash and gold doré on hand. The Company strengthened its liquidity position in the quarter following the drawdown of the remaining $15 million of its revolving credit facility to maximise cash reserves and reduce liquidity risk given the volatile and uncertain financial market conditions.
In addition, the Company continues to make regularly scheduled gold shipments from Yaramoko. Earlier this week, the quarter ending gold doré balance of 3,662 ounces, together with an additional 2,974 ounces poured since the start of April, was shipped from site further underpinning the Company’s liquidity position.
Based upon Q1 production results, Roxgold is slightly ahead of expectations and remains on track to deliver between 120,000 and 130,000 ounces of production from Yaramoko absent any significant deterioration in operating conditions.
Exploration results from drill campaigns at Séguéla Project and Boussoura
Séguéla Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA)
55 Zone underground drill campaign on 4700 level (600 m below surface) targeting depth extensions, infill, and parallel structures
Séguéla Feasibility Study
Construction decision for Séguéla Project
Paul Criddle, FAusIMM, Chief Operating Officer for Roxgold Inc., a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed, verified and approved the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release.
Roxgold is a Canadian-based gold mining Company with assets located in West Africa. The Company owns and operates the high-grade Yaramoko Mine Complex located on the Houndé greenstone belt in Burkina Faso and is advancing the development and exploration of the Séguéla Gold Project located in Côte d’Ivoire. Roxgold trades on the TSX under the symbol ROXG and as ROGFF on OTCQX.
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation: statements with respect to future production estimates, production guidance, anticipated recovery grades, and potential increases in throughput, exploration and development plans, and the expected timing thereof. These statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company provides no assurance that actual results will meet management's expectations. In certain cases, forward-looking information may be identified by such terms as "anticipates", "believes", "could", "estimates", "expects", "may", "shall", "will", or "would". Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, the realization of resource estimates and reserve estimates, gold metal prices, the timing and amount of future exploration and development expenditures, the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements, the estimation of labour and operating costs, the availability of necessary financing and materials to continue to explore and develop the Yaramoko Gold Project in the short and long-term, the progress of exploration and development activities as currently proposed and anticipated, the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals and permits, and assumptions with respect to currency fluctuations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, and other similar matters, as well as assumptions set forth in the Company’s technical report dated December 20, 2017, and entitled "Technical Report for the Yaramoko Gold Mine, Burkina Faso" available on the Company’s website at www.roxgold.com and SEDAR at www.sedar.com. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.
Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include: changes in market conditions, unsuccessful exploration results, possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, changes in the costs and timing of the development of new deposits, inaccurate reserve and resource estimates, changes in the price of gold, unanticipated changes in key management personnel, failure to obtain permits as anticipated or at all, failure of exploration and/or development activities to progress as currently anticipated or at all, general economic conditions and other risk factors contained in the Company’s annual information form and other disclosure documents available on SEDAR. Mining exploration and development is an inherently risky business. Accordingly, actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company's forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the Company's forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by the Company or on its behalf, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Graeme Jennings, CFA
Vice President, Investor Relations