ASANKO Gold and Gold Fields would make “an investment decision” on Ghana’s Esaase project in which the companies are joint venture partners in the second quarter of this year once the project parameters were reviewed.
Asanko Gold, which is the project operator, said it was currently involved in bulk sampling tests as well as assessing items such as optimal ore throughput. Capital spent on this stage of the project would be $18m of which $11m had been spent to date.
The company was “encouraged” by the bulk sampling results.
“We are very encouraged by the results from the bulk sample and the trial mining so far, with the oxides performing well in the mill, throughput is exceeding expectations and gold recovery is in line with current levels experienced from other feed sources,” said Peter Breese, CEO of Asanko Gold in a statement.
Gold Fields said in March last year that it would pay $165m for a 50% share of Asanko’s 90% stake in Asanko Gold Mines, the Ghanaian subsidiary.
In addition, Gold Fields assisted in the recapitalisation of Asanko Gold by means of a share subscription through a rights issue in which it took a 9.9% for $17.6m. All in all, Gold Fields spent $202.6m for roughly 100,000 oz of gold annually.