La Mancha Resources has received a positive definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the upgrade of its heap leach plant, which uses carbon-in-leach (CIL) technology at the Hassai gold mine in north-eastern Sudan.

The CIL plant will allow the processing of ore that cannot currently be economically processed with the heap leach method, and will increase the mine’s reserves by 233% to 1Moz of gold.

The increased capacity will result in a 136% rise in the mine’s average gold production, increasing it to 161,647oz of gold a year .

According to the DFS compiled by Sedgman, the total capital development budget is $191.2m, including Sedgman’s estimates of $187m for the upgrade of the plant and infrastructure, and $4.2m for replacement of mining equipment.

La Mancha Resources president and CEO Dominique Delorme said the plant will begin operating in 2012, with full commissioning planned for early 2013.