Gold exploration and development firm Roxgold has secured approval of a mining decree for its Bagassi South project, a high-grade underground gold mine on the company’s Yaramoko property in Burkina Faso.

Yaramoko gold mine consists of two deposits, namely the 55 Zone, a fully underground mine which is currently in production, and Bagassi South.

The mining decree, which was approved by the Burkina Faso Council of Ministers, is an extension of the existing 2013 mining convention at the 55 Zone.

“We continue to be on track for delivery of first ore from our second mine expected in the fourth quarter.”

According to Roxgold, the decree carries the same terms as the mining convention.

Construction of the Bagassi South project, which is located 1.8km south of the Yaramoko processing plant, commenced earlier this year, with overall project completion now at around 55%.

Roxgold president and CEO John Dorward said: “Construction at Bagassi South has been progressing extremely well and we continue to be on track for delivery of first ore from our second mine expected in the fourth quarter.

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“The process plant expansion is also tracking on schedule where we look forward to increasing Yaramoko’s gold production by approximately 40% to 160,000 ounces in 2019.”

While portal ground support activities are close to completion, completion of the boxcut excavation is slated for next month.

The company expects to close the establishment of the collar in the first week of next month to be able to start the underground development on schedule.

The expansion of the process plant will result in an increase in through-put from 750 tonnes per day (tpd) to 1,100tpd.

So far, Roxgold completed the construction of surface infrastructure elements such as the haulage road, security building, fencing, settling pond, and TSF embankment.