Lycopodium takes lead in Kobada

ENGINEERING company Lycopodium Minerals has been named engineering lead for a definitive feasibility study update at Toubani Resources’ Kobada gold project in southern Mali.

 Gold production at Kobada

Gold production at Kobada

As lead engineer Lycopodium will optimise the processing flowsheet, plant design, capital and operating estimates for the DFS.

The initial focus will involve increasing the processing rate for more gold production, followed by a focus on oxide.

The 2021 DFS looked at a processing plant throughput rate of 3 million tonnes per annum, with mining rates of 24Mtpa.

It also proposed an onsite processing plant to treat a blend of oxide, transitional and fresh gold-bearing ores from the open pit.

Toubani Resources chief executive officer Phil Russo said Lycopodium was a Tier 1 engineering company with an enviable track record in both studies and project execution in Mali and West Africa.

"The DFS update will utilise the recent mineral resource update as the foundation for the Kobada pit design and mine planning," he said.

"With some 1.5 million ounces in shallow, free-digging oxide mineral resources, we are able to plan an oxide-focused project phase over an extended life leveraging the technical strengths that make Kobada compelling."

Russo said Toubani looked forward to advancing the DFS update at such a key point in time for the company and the sector overall.

Mali security situation

Lycopodium is tasked with engineering, procurement and project management at Leo Lithium's Goulamina project in a West African country once considered a stable jurisdiction for international miners.

According to a release by Leo Lithium, EPCM project progress was about 33% complete, with about 1200 workers on site.

However, with Russian mercenary group Wagner backing the Mali government's fight against terrorist networks following the withdrawal of French troops, the situation on the ground has deteriorated.

The Australian government has warned against travelling to Mali due to the kidnapping risk of foreign nationals in central and southern Mali.

It also warned that foreign nationals and foreign interests, including mining operations, may be targeted.

Leo Lithium was forced to withdraw its 2023-24 direct shipping ore production guidance this week when the Mali government ordered it to stop crushing and exporting DSO from Goulamina, due to claims the company owed about $24.9 million in taxes for the December quarter.

Leo claimed the government's approach to import duties and taxes on petroleum used during production had not been consistent with the agreement it signed in 2016.

The company said it was attempting to resolve matters directly with the Malian government.

Leo managing director Simon Hay said Goulamina remained a technically and financially robust world-class lithium project.

Lycopodium has also started front-end engineering design services at B2Gold's Fekola mine.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.


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