Hummingbird Resources, a leading gold production, exploration, and development company, announced on May 2 that its Kouroussa gold mine processing plant in Guinea has finally reached the completion stage. Moving forward, the potentially high-yielding mine is entering its commissions phase, allowing it to yield its first gold pour in the coming quarter.
The company explained in its report that the Kouroussa gold mine’s cold commissioning and pre-operational phases are underway. Once complete, the mine will move into the hot commissioning phase, allowing Hummingbird Resources to see the mine’s first gold pour by 2023’s second quarter.
In the press release, the company stated that sufficient ore feed tons would be on the run-of-mine (ROM) pad for commissioning. The organization plans to accelerate mining activities to increase ore feed tons on the ROM pad during the first gold pour, with nameplate production following soon after.
For the commission phase, the company’s commissioning team will work with the plant’s engineering contractor, Soutex. Contractor NCP International is commissioning semi-autogenous grinding mills to further gear up operations. The company has installed permanent power units to energize the medium-voltage substation.
Hummingbird Resources forecasts the Kouroussa gold mine to be a high-yielding, low-cost project, offering 4 grams per ton and the ability to produce 100,000 ounces per fiscal year for the first seven years. Located in the prolific Siguiri Basin, Guinea, the Kouroussa gold mine sits alongside a high-grade resource base of 1.2 million ounces of gold at 3.06 grams per ton and reserves of 647,000 ounces at 4.15 grams per ton.
“Kouroussa is on track to pour first gold within the current quarter, and the start of commissioning of the processing plant is a significant step forward in achieving this objective. As we begin the commissioning phase to bring Kouroussa online, we remain heavily focused on safety at this busy time,” the company’s CEO, Dan Betts, explained in the press release.
“Additionally, operational readiness and the transition to daily operations is a key part of this phase as we look not just to first gold but to ramping up production to nameplate capacity, moving the company to being a +200,000-ounce, multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction gold producer,” he continued.
Hummingbird Resources maintains two gold projects, one being the new Kouroussa gold mine and the other being the operational Yanfolila mine in Mali. Once in full production, the Kouroussa gold mine has the potential to double the company’s current production rates.
Aside from fully owned and operated mining operations, Hummingbird Resources also controls interest in the Dugbe gold project in Liberia. Joint venture partner, Pasofino Gold Limited, is also supporting the project. Hummingbird Resources believes that the full realization of the Dugbe project can yield 2.76 million ounces of gold, a 3.5-year capex payback period, and a 14-year mine lifespan.
As we enter quarter two of 2023, Hummingbird Resources is not the only major mining organization ramping up production. In recent news, Hecla Mining Company entered a definitive agreement with ATAC resources to acquire the company and its Rackla and Connaught gold projects in Yukon. “The Rackla and Connaught projects would further consolidate our position in Yukon after our strategic acquisition of Keno Hill, which we are developing, and is expected to be the largest and the highest grade primary silver mine in Canada,” Phillips S. Baker Jr., the CEO and president of Hecla Mining, explained.
Shortly before this announcement, Victoria Gold Corp. of Toronto released its Q1 2023 reports showing a whopping increase in output from the year prior. The company amped up production to meet growing gold demand and managed to increase output by 55% compared to quarter one of last year. The report showed an increase from 24,358 ounces in Q1 2022 to 37,619 ounces in Q1 2023.
At the same time, Toronto-based Aris Mining began an exploration program to boost output at its Columbia-based Segovia Operations. “For 2023, we have planned an exploration drilling program of 84,500 meters at Segovia focussed on increasing the mineral reserves and life of mine plan, extending the known resources at the four producing mines, and further exploring strategic high priority vein targets located adjacent to the current mining operations,” Neil Woodyer, the company’s CEO, explained in the release.
The list of similar reports goes on. Every week new headlines show more mining organizations entering joint ventures, beginning exploration programs, and ramping up production to meet growing demand. As gold demand soars more than ever with the current state of the economy, we can expect more releases like Hummingbird Resources’ report on a regular basis.