Agbaou Gold Mine owned by Endeavour Mining and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, both holding 85 % and 15% respectively, is located approximately 200km northwest of the port city of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa.
The project spans over 46, 900ha, lying within the Oume-Fetekro greenstone belt of Birimian age, where the prevalent rocks are deformed, mafic volcanics which have changed to greenchist facies.
The gold mineralization is typically of two categories: laterite cap and primary. The laterate cap, which exhibits secondary mineralization, ranges in thickness from one to five metres covering the entire deposit area.
The primary mineralized envelope is 60m to 100m broad, and hosted within quartz vein types, such as brecciation, boudinage, sericitic, and carbonate alteration. Gold occurs in variable amounts of sulphide (pyrite and pyrrhotite) assemblage.
Endeavour’s latest operation with an expected 8 year mine life started construction in 2012, with the first gold poured in November 2013, and the full commercial production commencing during the Q1 2014, generated quite a significant jobs.
The average production capacity of the gold mine is estimated at 103, 000oz per year.
Mining and infrastructure
Mining is carried out using conventional open pit methods and the ore is processed through a conventional gravity- CIL plant with a design capacity of 1.3 to 1.6 Mtpa (depending on the hardness of the ore). The plant design includes a SAG and ball mills followed by gravity (Knelson) concentrators and a CIL circuit with an AARL elution circuit. Average recovery is 92.5% (93% in oxide, 91% bedrock). The open pit mine will access softer free-dig’laterite and saprolite ore for the first two years of operations. Grid power is delivered to site from a 15km transmission line at a cost of approximately $0.09 per kWhr.
The waste material from excavation area is hauled to an external waste dump located adjacent to the two operational pits.
Two oxygen plants, including one duty and one air compressors have been installed to meet the oxygen demand of five tons per day. In addition, a raw water dam, a raw water supply system, tailings storage facility, access roads, warehouses and laydown yards, an administration building, a laboratory, a stand-power plant, a plant control room incorporating SCADA system as well as accommodation facilities were constructed.
The mine is connected to the national power grid via a 15km long, 91kV power line. A high voltage transformer is also installed at the Agbaou substation.