West African Resources draws down on first $100m Kiaka loan

WEST African Resources said it had drawn the first tranche of a $265m loan secured from investors for its Kiaka Gold project in Burkina Faso.

The loan was provided by Sprott Resource Lending Corp. and Coris Bank International and will be put to the $430m project. Some $100m was drawn down.

“The build is well-underway and on track for first gold the second half of 2025,” said Richard Hyde, MD of West African Resources of Kiaka. The project will average production of 219,000 ounces a year for 18.5 years. It will take West African Resources total production to more than 400,000 oz/year.

Kiaka is planned as an open pit mine using a simple process of a single stage crusher and carbon-in-leach extraction technology.

The company bought the project in 2021 from B2Gold, the Toronto-listed gold producer, and its partner, GAMS Mining F&I, a fund.

West African Resources currently produces gold from Sanbrado, also in Burkina Faso. In December, Hyde said a scoping study found potential to displace low grade open pit ore at Sanbrado with underground more in an extension project that will add 35,000 oz/year to production for five years.

Burkina Faso suffered a military coup in 2022 and has since then worked towards strengthening its links with Russia which reopened its embassy in the country in December after a 30 year absence.

In October, Hyde announced plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Orezone which will work on improving protective measures for their neighbouring properties in the country as well as “drive synergies” on renewable and grid power, procurement and other supply chain issues.