Centamin to proceed with DFS at 'economically robust' Côte d'Ivoire project

27th June 2023 By: Chanel de Bruyn - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Centamin to proceed with DFS at 'economically robust' Côte d'Ivoire project

Centamin CEO Martin Horgan

LSE- and TSX-listed Centamin plans to proceed with a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at its Doropo gold project, in northeastern Côte d'Ivoire, as the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) have demonstrated an "economically robust" project, CEO Martin Horgan says.

The PFS estimates that capital expenditure of $349-million will be needed to build the mine, which is expected to produce about 210 000 oz/y of gold over the first five years of operation and an average gold production of 173 000 oz/y over a ten-year mine life.

The Doropo mine plan is based on conventional openpit mining of a sequence of shallow pits. The processing plant will include a four-million- to 5.5-million-tonne-a-year semi-autogenous grinding mill, ball mill and crusher circuit and a conventional carbon-in-leach circuit for an average life-of-mine (LoM) gold metallurgical recovery rate of 92%.

All-in sustaining costs (AISC) are estimated to average $963/oz over the first five years and $1 017/oz over the ten-year LoM.

The PFS estimates a 2.3-year payback at a gold price of $1 600/oz, a net present value of $330-million and an internal rate of return of 26%.

"We have identified opportunities to further optimise the project, which will be assessed as part of the DFS which is scheduled for completion in mid-2024.  

"A substantial part of the DFS fieldwork has already been completed in 2023, which derisks the timeline to completion and further confirms our faith in the potential of Doropo to support a commercially viable project which will bring significant investment and job creation to northeastern Côte d'Ivoire," Horgan says.

Doropo will be supplied with power from the Côte d'Ivoire national grid through the existing Bouna substation, which is about 55 km from the project area.

Centamin says the grid power offers a cost and potential carbon saving relative to other options, including self-generation, as the tariff is based on a mix of hydro and thermal generation with a large portion of hydroelectric.

Meanwhile, mining services specialist Knight Piésold Consulting carried out a PFS of the site infrastructure for Doropo including a tailing storage facility (TSF)​, water storage/harvest dam, airstrip and haul access road. The TST has been designed in accordance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and the Australian National Committee on Large Dams guidelines.

The TSF will be fully lined with a geomembrane liner and built using a downstream construction method with yearly raises to suit storage requirements.

Doropo will be Centamin's second operating asset. It currently operates its flagship Sukari gold mine, in Egypt.