Location and History

Taparko

Taparko was the first gold mine built in Burkina Faso. Mining at Taparko commenced in 2005, with the first gold poured in late 2007.

Taparko mine is located in the Namantenga province of Burkina Faso in West Africa, approximately 200km northeast of Ouagadougou, the Capital City of Burkina Faso.

The principle road to Taparko is fully tarmacked, allowing a journey time of approximately two hours from Ouagadougou. The Bouroum mine site, a satellite of Taparko, is located approximately 49km northwest of the main Taparko site where all the mining and milling facilities are located. It is accessible from Taparko via a gravel road.

The airport at Ouagadougou has flight connections to all the major cities in Europe. There is a railway from the port of Abijan, Cote d’Ivoire to Kaya but the political instability in Cote d’Ivoire means that most of the freight destined for Burkina Faso arrives at Tema, Ghana.

The climate is characterised by a wet season extending from June to September, with the heaviest rains in August meaning an annual rainfall of between 400 and 600mm. Typical daytime temperatures range from 25°C in December to 45°C in May, dropping about 10°C at night. No surface accumulations of water remain throughout the year, except for man-made storage reservoirs.

Nordgold acquired control over Taparko mine in August 2008. The mine is operated by SOMITA SA, a company 90% owned by Nordgold’s subsidiary High River Gold. The remaining 10% belongs to the Government of Burkina Faso.

Taparko gold production in 2015 decreased to 83.2 thousand ounces due to significantly higher capitalised stripping related to the mine extension.

Supporting Burkina Faso Economy

Taparko payments in 2009-2015 stood at more than US$95 million in taxes, royalties and indirect taxes, which made a significant contribution to the social infrastructure of Burkina Faso.

We contributed approximately US$178 thousand on social development programmes in 2015 and we will match that next years.

Nordgold's investments in Burkina Faso have reached US$690 million since 2009.

Taparko offers strong potential to increase reserves and life of mine through the development of Yeou and Goengo deposits and provides long term value to local communities and the country’s economy.

Operating and Financial Highlights

1,988
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Run of mine (kt) 19,800 14,736 16,288 12,172 11,239 10,770
Waste mined (kt) 18,814 12,748 14,722 10,337 9,782 9,421
Ore mined (kt) 987 1,567 1,835 1,457 1,349
Stripping ratio (tn/tn) 19.07 6.4 9.4 6.4 6.7 7.0
Ore processed (kt) 1,657 1,767 1,366 1,580 1,421 1,274
Grade (g/t) 1.82 2.34 2.99 3.09 3.27 3.47
Recovery (%) 82.2 85.9 80.5 82.1 84.4 90.2
Gold production (koz) 83.2 112.0 108.4 126.7 132.5 127.2
Gold sold (koz) 82.7 111.7 108.5 126.8 132.5 127.2
Average realised gold price per ounce sold (US$/oz) 1,152 1,267 1,400 1,672 1,549 1,236
Revenue (US$/m) 95.2 141.5 151.9 212.0 205.3 157.3
EBITDA (US$/m) 13.2 59.1 55.1 124.1 135.2 105.7
Total Cash Costs (US$/oz) 1,002 705 771 611 476 393
AISC (US$/oz) 1,410 919 1,238 - - -

Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources Summary (31 December 2015)

Category Ore (Kt) Grade (g/t) Au (Koz)
RESERVES
Proven and Probable 5,422 2.88 502
RESOURCES
Measured and Indicated 8,590 2.64 730
Inferred 2,505 2.08 167

For more information, please see Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Press Release

Technology

The mine comprised four open pits alongside a processing plant, ball milling facility and CIL circuits. An additional cyclone unit was added to the CIL circuit to increase processing capacity and management has significantly expanded the fleet of trucks used for transporting ore to the processing plant. The site also has waste rock dumps, tailing containment areas, and a water management system, as well as accommodation for more than 600 workers.

Milling and Classification
Nordgold’s open pit operations use conventional surface mining methods involving drilling and blasting, followed by a load and haul process allowing for selective mining of the ore. Ore from the pit is then transported to a designated stockpile and fed into a crushing circuit. The crushed material is then moved onto a conveyor, which delivers the ore to a grinding circuit consisting of SAG and ball mills. The milled product is then thickened and leached into a CIP circuit.
Cyanide leaching and sorption
The cyanidation of the milled ore is carried out in the CIP or CIL circuit. During the CIP or CIL stage, pulp flows through several tanks where sodium cyanide and oxygen have been added to dissolve gold into solution. In the absorption stage, this solution flows through several tanks containing activated carbon. Gold then attaches onto the activated carbon, which flows counter current to the pulp, while screens separate the barren pulp from the gold-loaded carbon.
Elution
The final gold loaded carbon is removed and washed before undergoing elution. Elution is achieved by introducing the gold loaded carbon to a solution of sodium cyanide at a high temperature (>110°C) and under high pressure. This results in the reversal of the attachment process, with the gold detaching from the carbon back into solution. This produces a small volume of solution with a high gold concentration.
Electrowinning
The gold loaded eluate solution that emerges from the elution process is passed through electrowinning cells, where gold is deposited onto the cells’ cathodes.
Smelting
The cathodes then undergo a smelting process, further refining the gold and leading to the eventual production of gold ingots suitable for transport to a refinery.

2016 Deliveries

  • Taparko will target matching ore mined with processing capacity. Taparko will mine high-grade ore from the Bouroum satellite pit, 35-3 and 35-4 cutbacks, as well as two cutbacks at the GT South pit.
  • Taparko will continue to invest in reserve replacement from early stage exploration at Goengo and Kangarse, evaluation of the Goengo West, Bissinga and Zemce satellite pits and near mine exploration focused on Mineral Resource conversion drilling in existing pits.

CONTACTS

Olga Ulyeva


Head of Media Relations
tel.+7 495 644 44 73 #707 6632

ROMAN MEZHUEV

RECRUITMENT MANAGER
tel.+7 495 644 44 73

OLEG BAZALEEV

HEAD OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
tel.+7 495 644 4473 #707 6746