Canada-listed junior miner Thor Explorations (TSX-V:THX) is getting ready to begin construction at its Segilola project in Nigeria, poised to become the country’s first large-scale gold mine.
Delivering the results of an independent definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the proposed gold operation, Thor said it planned to build an open pit mine as well as a new 625,000 tonnes per annum processing plant, which would consist of a conventional crushing circuit, two-stage grinding, gravity, carbon-in-leach, elution, electro-winning and smelting to produce gold doré.
The study, said Thor, envisions construction beginning in the second quarter of the year, for an 18-month period.
Segilola’s development is expected to require an $87-million investment, recoverable in 1.4 years, and produce 80,000 ounces of gold annually over its five-year mine life.
The Vancouver-based company, which also completed an Independent Preliminary Economic Assessment for a proposed underground extension, said that project would be an initial three-year operation, which can be brought on during the open pit mine life to supplement production.
The underground operation at Segilola, the company said, would require a $13 million-investment and could produce 33,000 ounces of gold annually.
Thor Explorations acquired Segilola, located about 120km from Nigeria’s city of Lagos, in August 2016 and renewed the project’s mining licence (for 25 years) three months later, in November 2016.
The company spent the majority of 2018 undertaking definitive feasibility study work and pre-development work-streams aimed de-risking and optimizing the project following the completion of the prefeasibility study (PFS) in October 2017.
Thor Explorations first captured the attention of the mining and investment community in February last year, when it won the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2018 Battlefield competition and was recognized as the most promising emerging mining company, out of 22 other juniors who participated in the contest.
The company is also working on two other projects: Douta, in south-east Senegal, and Houndé, in western Burkina Faso.