By L.M. Louw
03 April 2021 – The team at Hummingbird Resources has had their fair share of ups and downs at the Yanfolila gold project. However, the mine poured first gold on time and on budget in December 2017 and remains a favourite with punters in West Africa. WhyAfrica’s Hawks Eye is on Yanfolila in Mali.
In today’s volatile world, gold remains as safe a bet as one could wish for, and London listed Hummingbird has proven that they have the capability to development a mine in Africa from scratch. Yanfolila, the company’s flagship project in southern Mali, continues to deliver gold from its open-pit operation at a decent rate. But Hummingbird has increased its exploration and drilling budget at Yanfolila with more than double that of 2020 levels to USD10-million to delineate new resources and reserves at Yanfolila.
The company’s updated 31 December 2020 Mineral Resources Estimate (MRE) at Yanfolila stands at 1.92 Million ounces (Moz), with a current 7.9Mt of reserve ore at 2.66 grammes per tonne (g/t) for 676,000 oz of gold, with an updated reserve statement expected out later this year.
The carbon-in-leach process plant has a throughput capacity of 1.4Mtpa when processing a blend of ore types, which was enhanced by the secondary ball mill project in 2019. When processing 100% fresh ore, the throughput capacity has been increased from 1Mtpa to 1.24Mtpa.
According to Hummingbirds CEO Dan Betts there are significant indicated resources within the open pit and mine inventories that are not in the current mine plan. These will be targeted for conversion to ore reserves in the future to increase both current forecasted annual production and to extend the mine life.
Last week, Hummingbird announced an update on the company’s 2021 exploration drilling programme at Yanfolila gold mine. Hummingbird’s 2021 exploration drilling programme is focused on increasing mineral resources at known deposits and testing new greenfield targets.
“Approximately 5800m have been drilled so far in 2021, which includes 3367 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Sanioumale East (SE) and 2474m of diamond core drilling at Komana East (KE). The drill results from SE and KE show continued resource upside potential at both deposits, as recently highlighted in the MRE announcement,” says Betts.
“These results for both SE and KEUG continue on from last year’s drilling success, showing further upside growth potential in resources for both deposits. The SE results are indicating that the deposit is potentially of a material size and could be mined in the coming years. Hole SNERC0421, 38m at 5.39 g/t gold from 58m depth, is one of the best intersected drill results in the history of Hummingbird which is a pleasing achievement,” Betts adds. Hummingbird aims to bring an underground mine into their future mine plans once final drilling, permitting, portal hole access and economic studies have been finalised.
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