Roxgold was a small exploration company when it discovered the Zone 55 orebody at the Yaramoko project in Burkina Faso in 2010. Since this time, it has actively progressed the project with the completion of a preliminary economic assessment in 2013, a feasibility study in early 2014 and obtained full permitting for construction in January 2015. With no other underground gold mine in Burkina Faso, developing a modern and productive modern gold mine in West Africa was considered a significant challenge as Roxgold moved from explorer to producer.
To facilitate this development, Roxgold engaged an international underground mining contractor to partner this development. This has enabled Roxgold to successfully develop the mine over a relatively short time frame with construction commencing in April 2015, first gold being poured in May 2016 and commercial production being achieved in October 2016.
This paper discusses key elements of the project development and highlights some of the challenges faced with operating in a remote poorly developed area with a limited mining culture. Furthermore, the authors highlight the key technical and operational aspects that make the Yaramoko project a very successful development project.
Cope, B and Churi, Y, 2017. The development of the Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Underground Operators' Conference 2017, pp 173–182 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).