SEMAFO Inc. (TSX:SMF)(OMX:SMF) is pleased to announce the Council of Ministers of the Government of Burkina Faso has approved its mining permit application for the Natougou Gold Project.
Receipt of the mining permit enables development of the Natougou Project to proceed on schedule. Construction activities are expected to begin in the coming weeks with the mobilisation of the bulk earthworks team on site. The first gold pour is expected in the second half of 2018.
A key component of the Corporation's growth platform, the Natougou Project is located in southeastern Burkina Faso, some 320 kilometers from the capital of Ouagadougou. In February 2016, the Corporation announced a positive feasibility study for Natougou, which confirmed the economic viability of an open-pit, carbon-in-pulp project giving an after-tax IRR of 48% at a gold price of US$1,100 per ounce. Initial capital expenditures are estimated at US$219 million, which includes US$42 million in pre-stripping expenditures and an US$18-million contingency. During the first three years, average annual production at Natougou is estimated at over 226,000 ounces at a total cash cost of US$283 per ounce and an all-in sustaining cost of US$374 per ounce.