Canadian-based gold mining company Roxgold has started early works at its Séguéla gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, following the approval of a mining permit to develop and operate the mine.

Anticipating a positive development decision, the company has broken ground at Séguéla to optimise the critical path activities of the project and expedite Séguéla’s production.

Séguéla is located about 240km north-west of Yamoussoukro and approximately 480km north-west of Abidjan.

Roxgold president and CEO John Dorward said: “It has been an exceptional year in progressing Séguéla having grown the total mineral resources to over a million ounces, announcing maiden resources at Koula, Ancien, Agouti and Boulder, completing a preliminary economic assessment, and culminating in the environmental and exploitation permit approvals.

“The Séguéla Project continues to be a key priority for Roxgold, and we believe that the development of the project will provide significant value to all our stakeholders.

“In addition to the positive impact Séguéla will have on the surrounding communities, the project has the potential to more than double our production for shareholders within a short time frame and without the need for additional equity.”

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Initial works at the mine include upgrading the site access road, accommodation village condition, as well as front-end engineering of the processing plant.

Plans to start early work activities at the mine site will enable a rapid ramp-up to full construction next year.

First production from the mine is expected to start in 2022.

In April this year, Roxgold completed its previously announced acquisition of 11 exploration permits in Côte d’Ivoire from Newcrest West Africa Holdings, which included the Séguéla gold project.