Hummingbird Resources has commenced an exploration drilling campaign on its mining permit in Mali in an effort to extend the life of the Yanfolila gold mine.
The company noted that the new exploration drilling will focus on the conversion of resources to reserves, while extending the life of the mine to more than ten years.
Four rigs currently present at the site will drill more than 50,000m across six existing deposits on the mining permit, located close to the Yanfolila processing plant.
The objective of the exploration programme is to infill the currently defined resources at the six deposits in the 2.2Mozs resource base.
Yanfolila produced its first gold pour in December last year, with production estimated to be around 107,000oz gold per year on average over the life of the mine.
Hummingbird Resources Geology vice-president Murray Paterson said: “The drilling is aiming primarily for the conversion of existing Resources to Reserves targeting an expected extension to Yanfolila’s mine life.
“We have a number of mineable deposits already proven up as resources and this programme is about converting those ounces into the mine plan for Yanfolila.”
The company expects the drilling programme to improve the grade of the ore delivered to the processing plant, leading to higher annual production levels and improved free cash flow.
Meanwhile, an underground study conducted by DRA Projects for Komana East, which is located below the open pit Yanfolila, determined potential for an underground mine with 113,000oz of producible gold in addition to the resources accounted for in the existing mine plan.
The company has also started mining at Komana West, where an exploration drilling programme will be conducted following a new geological study.