Engineering firm SENET has completed an independent feasibility study for True Gold Mining’s Karma Project in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

The study supports an open-pit heap leach mine scenario with probable mineral reserves of 949,000oz.

True Gold said the heap-leach pad is designed to process oxide and transition ore from the five shallow pits, with a small amount of leachable sulphide ore extracted from two of the pits.

"The Karma Project stands out in the world of heap-leach gold development projects."

The company will initially mine the pits with the highest-grade mineral reserves for a quick payback and strong cashflow from the outset.

Karma Project’s implementation period is anticipated to be 18 months. The first gold pour is expected at the end of 2015, with pre-stripping commencing 12 months prior to that.

Initial capital of $131.5m, including onsite working capital and contingency, is required to support the construction of the mine.

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The mine will have the capacity to process four million tonnes per annum. It is expected to produce an average of 97,000oz of gold per year over eight and a half years, with direct cash operating costs of about $591 per ounce.

True Gold president and CEO Dwayne Melrose said that the Karma Project has been engineered to provide the flexibility to scale up and take advantage of the potential to deliver additional ounces.

"The Karma Project stands out in the world of heap-leach gold development projects," Melrose said.

"With strong gold grades, excellent infrastructure, low power and water requirements, strong recoveries from simple metallurgy and soft, free digging material, our operating and capital requirements are modest and our margins are high."