The Syama Gold Mine, located in the south of Mali, West Africa approximately 32km from the Côte d’Ivoire border and 300km southeast of the capital Bamako, comprises the Syama Underground Mine and the Tabakoroni complex.
Syama Gold Mine is a large-scale operation, comprising the established Syama Underground Mine, the Tabakoroni Complex comprising an open pit, and recently discovered underground Ore Reserve, along with several satellite oxide pits. Syama is owned by local subsidiary Société des Mines de Syama S.A. (SOMISY) in which Resolute has an 80% interest and the Government of Mali holds the remaining 20%. The Tabakoroni complex is owned by Société des Mines de Finkolo S.A. (SOMIFI), part of the Resolute Group.
Syama Sulphide Operations
The Syama underground mine is modern sub level cave operation producing around 2.4Mtpa of ore. All underground production and devlopemnt activity is owner operated. The company operates a fleet of Sandvik development jumbos, production drills, loaders and trucks. A twin decline access and variable speed primary ventilation system provides capacity for future expansion of underground operations.
The sulphide processing circuit comprises three stage crushing, followed by ore grinding. The grinding circuit comprises three mills, one primary and 2 secondary. Ground ore is then fed to the concentrator, which contains 1 skim air, 2 rougher, 4 scavenger and 3 cleaner cells to produce auto thermal concentrate for feed to the roaster. The concentrate is thickened to around 70% solids to provide direct roaster feed. The roaster is an auto thermal circulating fluid bed roaster operating at ~720o. The product from the roaster, the calcine is then processed through conventional CIL, Elution and Electrowinning and Smelting circuits to produce bullion.
The Syama sulphide processing circuit has been progressively upgraded by Resolute, with particular attention being paid to the Roaster. Major planned shutdowns in 2019 and 200 have lifted throughput and utilisation and increased the intervals between future shutdowns by replacing much of the refractory lining of the roaster. Resolute is continuing to identify opportunities to further enhance sulphide plant throughout and recoveries.
Syama Oxide Operations
Resolute operates a number of satellite open pits to provide oxide material for treatment at the separate oxide processing facility at Syama. These operation cover 40km of strike along the Syama shear and are served by a dedicated haul road.
The Oxide processing plant has a capacity of around 1.5Mtopa, of oxide and transitional ore. This capacity has been gradually built upon since its construction in 2015, when the plant was rated at 1.0mtpa. The oxide plant comprises single stage jaw crushing followed by a single, variable speed SAG mill. The circuit contains a gravity concentrator and intensive leach reactor to extract coarse gold. The ore is then processed through conventional CIL, Elution and Electrowinning and Smelting circuits to produce bullion.
Syama Power Station
In June 2021, the Syama Power Station upgrade was completed in partnership with Aggreko plc (Aggreko). The new power station is delivers long-term fuel cost savings while reducing carbon emissions by approximately 20%. The power generating facilities comprises three modular 10MW Marine Oil (HFO) generators together with a 10MW battery storage system. The system includes a battery storage-, replacing the need for conventional fossil fuel spinning reserves. Construction of the Resolute owned Bulk Fuel Storage Facility has also been completed, with final commissioning activities undertaken during the June quarter. The new facility has capacity of 4,000,000 litres representing more than 30 days of consumption.
A further stage of development, comprising construction of a 20MW solar array, to be located on top of the Syama TSF is also planned. This would occur after decommissioning of the TSF in 2022 and following a period of consolidation and surface capping .
Tabakoroni Sulphide Project
Tabakoroni is located 35kmz south of Syama, and since 2018 has been a major contributor of mill feed to the Oxide processing plant. Once oxide and transitional resources are exhausted in 2025 Resolute expects to develop a sulphide mining operation at Tabakoroni, exploiting the high grade resource located beneath current open pits.
The Company is confident that a high-grade long-life operation will follow the oxide open pit mining phases at Tabakoroni. A PFS completed established a mining schedule accessing 2.4Mt at 4.9g/t containing 386.6koz with drilling in 2021 leading to an expansion of Resource and establishment of Ore Reserve of 5.0 Mt at 4.7g/t Au containing 766koz. . The Tabakoroni deposit remains open both along strike and at depth. Ongoing exploration success is expected to continue to expand the Mineral Resources and subsequently extend the mine life.