Nord Gold has started gold production at its Bouly operation, 5km from its existing Bissa mine in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Production started with a heap leach operation at the Bouly deposit.

Bouly’s average annual production is expected to be about 120koz over a life of mine (LoM) of ten years.

Construction of the Bouly mine started in July last year and involved an investment of $140m. It was completed last month.

"Gross project is expected to add a further 230,000oz of gold a year to our group."

Bouly is Nord Gold’s third operating asset in Burkina Faso and the second project developed by the company from a green field development stage in the country in the last six years.

Nord Gold CEO Nikolai Zelenski said: “Bouly is another outstanding addition to our global asset portfolio and once again highlights our ability to execute large mining projects on time and in this case, under budget.

“Like Bissa, which we launched in 2013, Bouly is a best-in-class operation, which will not only increase overall production and efficiency at Nordgold, but will be another major economic contributor to our host country and its local community.

“Construction of our Gross project in Russia is on track and is expected to start production in early 2018, adding a further 230,000oz of gold a year to our group.”

Bouly is the result of a green field development initiative at Nordgold and an exploration programme, which identified a large, low-grade gold deposit.

This year, Bouly is expects to produce up to 20,000oz of gold.