Rapid ramp-up at Roxgold's Yaramoko

Shares in Roxgold Inc (CVE:ROG) received a nice bump after the company released production and operations updates for ultra-high grade Yaramoko project in Burkina Faso.

The Toronto-based junior was changing hands at $1.51, adding 2.7% on the TSX Venture Exchange on the day, bringing year to date gains for the $534m counter to 116%.

Roxgold announced at the end of August gold production had reached 35,753 ounces at an average mill feed grade of 15.44 g/t Au, adding that the company remains on track to reach commercial production this quarter.

The company poured first gold at the $111 million underground mine in West Africa in May. Yaramoko will produce 99,500 ounces on average annually for an initial 7.4 years.

In August, stoping operations were established with the successful mining and extraction of the first stope. Due to the favorable rock conditions encountered the stope size was increased from 25 metres to 40 metres and delivering 4,321 tonnes of ore at an average gold grade of 28.49 g/t Au according to a statement.

The overall dilution for the stope was 10.7%, comparing favourably with the Feasibility Study assumption of 20.5%. Currently a second stope is being accessed, said Roxgold.

The processing plant continues to operate well with high availability and gold recovery has average 99% in August, above the feasibility study assumption of 96.9%. Additionally, the plant team continues to observe improved operating performance in the gravity circuit according to Roxgold.

Work is also progressing on the connection to the high voltage national electricity grid in Burkina, which should be completed during the first quarter of next year.

Roxgold owns 100% of Yaramoko, but the government of Burkina Faso is entitled to 10%. Top shareholder is Appian Capital Advisory, a $750 million private equity firm formed by industry veterans last year.

Others juniors operating in the region include B2Gold (TSE:BTO), True Gold Mining (CVE:TGM) and Orezone Gold (TSE:ORE). Burkina Faso is the continent's fourth largest gold producer after Mali and has commissioned eight new mines over the past six years.

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