Asanko Gold Mine Phase 1 Project Update
- Early works program at the Asanko Gold Mine and detailed
engineering advancing on schedule with a full investment decision
planned for July
- Mineral Resource Estimate revision for Nkran and Adubiaso deposits
complete with no material change and detailed mine planning underway
- Definitive Project Plan to be published as an NI 43-101 compliant
technical report by Q4 2014
- Environmental permit conditions continue to be removed - official
moratorium declared over mining area in preparation for breaking
ground in Q3 2014
- New General Manager appointed and recruitment of key operating
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/18/14 -- Asanko
Gold Inc. ("Asanko" or the "Company") (TSX: AKG)(NYSE MKT: AKG) is
pleased to provide an update on activities at the fully funded and
permitted Asanko Gold Mine (the "AGM" or the "Project") in Ghana. In
early April, the Company engaged DRA as the Engineering, Procurement,
Construction and Management ("EPCM") contractor for the design and
construction of Phase 1 of the Project as well as Knight Piesold to
design the Tailings Storage Facility and carry out detailed
geotechnical engineering works for the site. Shortly thereafter, the
Company initiated an early works program designed to advance the
critical activities that will allow the Company to maintain its
project schedule, targeting first gold in Q1 2016.
Detailed engineering and early works programs are proceeding on
schedule, ground breaking at the plant site is expected to commence
in August 2014, pending a positive investment decision on the Project
by the Board in July.
Asanko Gold Mine Site Early Works
The site early works program, which began in April 2014 with a budget
of approximately US$16 million, has been progressing on schedule and
on budget. For photos of the early works progress at AGM, please
click on the following link:
-- Upgrading of the site access road is nearing completion with 8km out of
11 km completed.
-- Refurbishment of the mining village is 80% complete.
-- The plant medical clinic construction is nearing completion and will be
operational in early July.
-- Mobile equipment orders have been placed and delivery of key equipment
is scheduled for July.
-- Refurbishment and upgrades to the site's airstrip have been completed
and inspected by the regulatory authorities.
-- Construction of the communication tower and office potable water systems
Since commencing work in early April, DRA have advanced several key
front-end engineering and design activities, including:
-- Plant layout is now complete, revised to incorporate a potential Phase 2
expansion to the plant.
-- An initial order is expected to be placed shortly for the detailed
design of the 161kV electrical infrastructure.
-- Various structural and civil designs are underway to allow bulk earth
works to commence at the plant site in August 2014.
-- Mechanical equipment list, process and instrumentation diagrams and
process design criteria have been completed.
-- Operating costs are in the process of being updated.
-- Civil, mechanical, electrical and infrastructure designs have been
completed to sufficient detail to allow the detailed capital cost to be
-- The Control Base Estimate ("CBE") or detailed capital cost estimate for
the Project is in the final stages of completion with all tenders
Knight Piesold have advanced geotechnical engineering with some
additional geotechnical drilling completed over the past two months
to support the detailed mine plan for the Nkran pit.
Resource Update & Mine Planning
Asanko's independent Qualified Person with respect to NI 43-101 has
completed revisions to the Mineral Resource Estimate ("MRE") for the
Nkran and Adubiaso pits, which are currently being used for detailed
While the overall MRE has not changed materially since the previous
estimate (announced in September 2012 and the basis for the Company's
current disclosure), the revised estimate incorporates a more
detailed geological model and utilises a combination of Indicator
Kriging and Ordinary Kriging to bring a higher level of confidence
and detail to the MRE which makes it more suitable for detailed mine
DRA are currently working on the detailed mine plan, with a
preliminary plan to be ready for the Board's investment decision in
July and the final plan to be finalised during Q3 2014.
The revised MRE, detailed mine plan and CBE will all be combined into
a Definitive Project Plan which is expected to be completed by Q4
2014 and filed as a NI 43-101 compliant technical report.
The contract tendering process has begun for the pre-strip component
of the Nkran pit, which the Company expects to begin in Q4 2014. The
pre-stripping of Nkran involves cutting back the existing pit from
historical mining operations. Total pre-strip requirements are
approximately 26 million tonnes of material to be moved to access the
Nkran ore for the commencement of mining operations in Q3 2015. The
cost of the pre-strip has been included in the Project's capital
cost, as per the Company's current disclosure.
Phase 1 of the Project is fully permitted for the commencement of
construction. In early June, the Minerals Commission declared a
moratorium over the expected mining and infrastructure areas. The
declaration of a moratorium is an important precursor to construction
activity and will establish the basis for crop compensation and land
use deprivation processes to commence with the local communities. In
addition, work is underway on a Resettlement Action Plan ("RAP")
which will be reviewed and approved by the Ghanaian Environmental
Protection Agency in Q4 2014.
The Company continues to advance the permitting required to mine both
Dynamite Hill and the Phase 2 mining operations at Esaase. In early
June, a Temporary Mining Permit was received for the Esaase deposit
which would allow mining operations to commence at Esaase. Full
environmental permitting at Esaase is ongoing.
On June 1st, the Company officially appointed Jonathan Ebo Collins as
General Manager - Asanko Gold Mine. Charles Amoah, the current acting
General Manager and a metallurgist, will continue with the Company as
Manager - Processing. Recruitment is underway for other key operating
positions as the Company continues to build its organisational
capability in Ghana.
Jonathan is a Ghanaian national and a mining engineer with over 25
years of operational experience in the African mining sector. He has
worked in Ghana, South Africa and Liberia, predominantly for major
natural resources companies such as Xstrata Coal, Anglo American,
Arcelor Mittal, Total, and Sasol. He began his career with Ashanti
Goldfields, now AngloGold Ashanti, at the Obuasi mine before moving
to South Africa to work in the coal industry. During his career, he
has been Mine Manager and General Manager of several large coal
operations with both open pit and underground mines and he has
overseen projects from construction and commissioning through to
operations. He has won multiple national safety awards in recognition
of the outstanding safety performance of the mines under his
management. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science and a Postgraduate
Diploma in Mining Engineering and is a member of the South African
Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM).
For further information please visit www.asanko.com
About Asanko Gold Inc.
Asanko's vision is to become a mid-tier gold mining company that
maximizes value for all its stakeholders. Asanko's flagship project
is the fully financed, multi-million ounce Asanko Gold Mine Project
located in Ghana, West Africa.
Asanko is managed by highly skilled and successful technical,
operational and financial professionals. The Company is strongly
committed to the highest standards for environmental management,
social responsibility, and health and safety for its employees and
Forward-Looking and other Cautionary Information
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other
than statements of historical facts, that address estimated resource
quantities, grades and contained metals, possible future mining,
exploration and development activities, are forward-looking
statements. Although the Company believes the forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements
should not be in any way construed as guarantees of future
performance and actual results or developments may differ materially
from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those in
forward-looking statements include market prices for metals, the
conclusions of detailed feasibility and technical analyses, lower
than expected grades and quantities of resources, mining rates and
recovery rates and the lack of availability of necessary capital,
which may not be available to the Company on terms acceptable to it
or at all. The Company is subject to the specific risks inherent in
the mining business as well as general economic and business
conditions. For more information on the Company, Investors should
review the Company's annual Form 20-F filing with the United States
Securities Commission and its home jurisdiction filings that are
available at www.sedar.com.
Neither Toronto Stock Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory
Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note to US Investors Regarding Mineral Reporting
Asanko has prepared its disclosure in accordance with the
requirements of securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ
from the requirements of US securities laws. Terms relating to
mineral resources in this press release are defined in accordance
with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral
Projects under the guidelines set out in the Canadian Institute of
Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Standards on Mineral Resources and
Mineral Reserves. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC")
permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose
only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and
legally extract or produce. Asanko uses certain terms, such as,
"measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources",
"inferred mineral resources" and "probable mineral reserves", that
the SEC does not recognize (these terms may be used in this press
release and are included in the public filings of Asanko which have
been filed with securities commissions or similar authorities in
Alex Buck, Manager - Investor Relations
Greg McCunn, Chief Financial Officer
Asanko Gold Inc.
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