Papillon Resources has commenced a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at its Fekola gold project, located in the south-west of Mali.

The company has appointed Lycopodium Minerals as the lead engineer for the DFS, which will build on the technical and economic results from the pre-feasibility study (PFS) that was completed on the project in 2013.

Papillon Resources managing director and CEO Mark Connelly said that the company continues to focus on de-risking Fekola and moving it towards production.

"The DFS represents the final stage before formal commencement of construction at Fekola," Connelly said.

"The company continues to focus on de-risking Fekola and moving it towards production."

"Lycopodium has significant and recent experience in the construction and commissioning of gold mines in West Africa and its appointment will allow Papillon to fully realise the outstanding potential of the world-class Fekola project."

During the PFS phase, the company carried out a detailed metallurgical test programme and further mine scheduling, geotechnical, project infrastructure and power studies.

The initial capital cost estimates for the mine, process plant and associated infrastructure was estimated at $298m.

The average life-of-mine operating cost was estimated at $596 per ounce of gold produced, which is based on the treatment of about four million tonnes of ore a year, producing an average 231,000oz a year over the life-of-mine.

Papillon released an updated mineral resource estimate for Fekola in January 2013, which comprises 54.97 million tonnes averaging at 2.38g per tonne of gold for a contained 4.21 million ounces of gold using a lower cut-off grade of 1.0g per tonne of gold.

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