Hummingbird Resources upgrades gold reserves to 1.12 million oz

Francesca Morgan
Vox Newswires
10:38, 25th November 2021

Hummingbird Resources has published an updated JORC-compliant company reserve statement to include a maiden reserve for its Kouroussa mine and the Yanfolila mine.

The resource firm currently has two core gold projects, the operational Yanfolila Gold Mine in Mali, as well as the Kouroussa Gold Mine in Guinea, which is expected to more than double current gold production when production, scheduled for first gold pour at the end of 2Q23. 

The group said both reserves have ‘upside potential’ as they do not include the 2021 drilling campaign of ~68,000 metres ("m") (~44,000 m at Yanfolila and ~24,000 m at Kouroussa). 

As at 30 June 2021, reserves totalled 1.12 million oz at 3.03 grams per tonne ("g/t") including the Yanfolila mine in Mali where 705,800 oz at 2.57 g/t was recorded; a net increase of 29,700 oz, including depleted reserves from mining since the last reserve statement in October 2019. 

The Yanfolila mine reserves include both open pit reserves on six deposits totalling 503,600 oz at 2.30 g/t and a maiden underground reserve at Komana east of 202,200 oz at 3.64 g/t.

Identification of reserves at both deposits are a result of Hummingbird’s investment and focus on exploration in 2020 with a total of ~21,000 m being drilled, with potential for further increases in reserves with a total of ~41,000 m being drilled in 2021 at Yanfolila, it noted.

The group has also established a maiden reserve at the Kouroussa Gold Mine of 408,900 oz at 4.38 g/t.  

This maiden open pit reserve was from the main and largest deposit called Koekoe ("KK"). The company said this reserve is supported by the JORC compliant resource statement as completed by independent mining consultancy company, Mining Plus, back in May 2020.

Hummingbird said it expects to see upside potential to the Kouroussa maiden reserve number next year. In particular, it expects the largest of the three other key deposits at Kouroussa, called Kinkine, to have a maiden reserve in its 2022 resource and reserve statements.

Hummingbird said the results of this year's drilling campaign will be included in the 2022 updated company resource and reserve statements, scheduled to be released in 2Q22.

In regard to the Company's Dugbe mine in Liberia which is not included in this statement, Hummingbird said it will provide a more detailed update on Dugbe reserves once Pasofino completes the definitive feasibility study ("DFS") scheduled for completion by 2Q22. This is expected to provide further significant upside potential for its resource and reserves profile.

Dan Betts, CEO of Hummingbird Resources, commented: "Our exploration strategy in 2020 has delivered JORC compliant reserves, extending Yanfolila's LOM and delivering a maiden reserve at Kouroussa, our low cost/high margin operation which will more than double Hummingbird's future gold production scheduled for first gold pour the end of Q2 2023.”

He added, “This year's exploration campaigns were three times larger in terms of metres drilled than those in 2020, with the focus to further increase our reserve and resource base in order to achieve our ambition of having LOMs in excess of 10 years from our assets.”

Anthony Kocken, Chief Operating Officer of Hummingbird Resources, added: "We look forward to the significant drilling investment in 2021 (circa 68,000 m) to further progress the Hummingbird reserves base as the foundation to future growth and value creation."

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Earlier this week, Hummingbird said an updated Mineral Resource Estimates of the Dugbe Gold Project had demonstrated the project to be underpinned by “a robust mineral deposit.”

The Canadian-based mineral exploration firm, Pasofino Gold, released the update for the Dugbe F and Tuzon deposits at the project in Liberia. Pasofino has an earn-in agreement for a 49% stake in the project, with Hummingbird maintaining a controlling interest of 51%. 

On Tuesday, the group told investors that using a 1.0 g/t of gold (Au) cut-off, the measured and indicated part of the MRE model boasts 2.88 million ounces (“Moz”) of gold contained in 56.6 million tonnes (“Mt”) grading 1.58 grams per tonne (“g/t”) of gold in two deposits.

Pasofino said there are “clear opportunities” to expand the MRE beyond the pit-shell, increase grade and make new discoveries highlighted by recent outcrop sampling returning up to 3 g/t on strike from Tuzon and the 100+ targets on the over 2,500 km2 land package in Liberia.

Using the latest upgrade, DRA Global will now progress with the mine design and Mineral Reserve Estimation for the Feasibility Study (“FS”), which is on schedule for completion by the end of 2Q22. It is expected to benefit from the robust and flexible MR, Pasofino noted.

Commenting on the updated MRE, Ian Stalker, CEO of Pasofino Gold, said there is “an opportunity to deliver higher grade ore to the plant and should have a knock-on benefit on operating costs and capex, potentially without detriment to planned annual production.”

He said there are “avenues for further resource expansion and grade increase” and that the company plans to take advantage of these as it works to finalize the FS in early 2022.

Last month, Hummingbird told investors that it had seen operational improvements in 3Q21, in particular the signing of a $100 million group financing facility from Coris Bank in October.

Over the period, the Company has focused on the development of its recently acquired Kouroussa Gold Mine in Guinea which is forecast to be a high-grade, low-cost mine.

The mine is expected to produce an average of between 120,000 and 140,000 ounces (“oz”) for the first three years of production and average 100,000 oz over the life of mine (“LOM”).

The mine is forecasted to be “a key contributor” in Guinea’s journey to becoming a leading gold producer in West Africa, following ongoing gold discoveries in the Siguiri Basin while at today’s gold price, the Company said the project also demonstrates ‘robust economics’.

The Company informed investors that the construction of the Kouroussa mine is now scheduled to start this quarter, with first gold pour scheduled for the end of Q2 2023.

At the Dugbe gold project, the Group’s earn-in partner, Pasofino Gold, released several drilling results during the quarter on the key Tuzon and Dugbe F deposits. Hummingbird said the results continue to highlight the significant gold endowment scale of the Dugbe project.

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