High River Gold Mines Ltd. is pleased to announce that construction of its Bissa Mine in Burkina Faso is now complete and gold production has begun.
The mine was officially opened by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso Luc Adolphe Tiao and CEO of Nord Gold N.V. Nikolai Zelenski, in the presence of His Excellency the President of the National Assembly Roch Marc Christian Kabore, the President of the Constitutional Council Dr. Dé Albert Millogo, the Minister for Mines, Quarries & Energy Mr. Lamoussa Salif Kabore, regional governors and other officials.
Bissa has been completed ahead of schedule and on budget. Total investment in the project was US$250 million which was completed in 15 months.
Bissa is now the Company's second operating asset in Burkina Faso and the third asset in Africa. In Burkina Faso, the Company already operates the Taparko mine, which was the first mine built in the country in 2007. The launch of Bissa makes the Company the first gold miner operating two mines in Burkina Faso.
Bissa is situated in the rural commune of Sabce, 100km north of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. As at January 2012, the Bissa project's Proven and Probable mineral reserves of gold (in accordance with the JORC Code 2004) were estimated at 1,803koz at 1.83g/t Au, Measured and Indicated mineral resources totalled 2,991koz (1.23g/t Au) and Inferred resources of 1,938koz (0.95g/t Au).
According to the current reserves' estimates, the life of mine is expected to be around 10 years. Meanwhile the Company sees potential to increase the mine's reserve base through conversion of resources to reserves and its ongoing exploration programme. Planned capacity of the open pit mine is 4Mt of ore per annum, producing up to 200koz of gold annually. The plant consists of crushing, milling (SAG and ball mills) and carbon-in-leach circuits (CIL), a method of recovering gold from solution.
In 2013, Bissa is expected to produce up to 100koz of gold.