For more detailed technical information on the Koné Gold Project, please see the Technical Reports section of the website. For more up-to-date information on the Koné Gold Project, please download the latest Corporate Presentation.
The Koné Gold Project (“KGP”, or the “Project”) is located approximately 350 kilometres north-west of Yamoussoukro, the political capital of Côte d’Ivoire, and approximately 600 kilometres north-west of Abidjan, the commercial capital of the country.
It comprises the 300 km2 Koné Exploration Permit (PR 262), the 362 km2 Faradougou Exploration Permit (PR 748) and three exploration permit applications that have been submitted by Montage totaling 780 km2. In total, the KGP covers 1,442 km2 of highly prospective exploration ground, the majority of which has never been explored.
Montage believes the Koné deposit has the potential to become the centre of gravity in new gold district with the potential to exploit numerous small, higher-grade satellite deposits the effect of which will be to further improve Project economics.
The Project is ideally situated near existing infrastructure and is accessible year-round via asphalt road and has access to ample water resources.
The Koné Exploration Permit hosts the Koné deposit which currently comprises an Indicated Mineral Resource of 225Mt grading 0.59g/t for 4.27Moz (at a 0.20g/t cut-off) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 22Mt grading 0.45g/t for 0.32Moz (at a 0.20g/t cut-off) (the “August 2021 MRE”).
August 2021 Mineral Resource Estimate
|Au g/t||Mt||Au g/t||Au Moz||Mt||Au g/t||Au Moz|
- Indicated Mineral Resources and Inferred Mineral Resources are reported in accordance with NI 43-101 with an effective date of the 12th of August 2021, for the Koné deposit within the KGP.
- The updated MRE is reported on a 100% basis and is constrained within an optimal pit shell generated at a gold price of US$1,500/ounce.
- The identified Mineral Resources are classified according to the “CIM” definitions of Indicated Mineral Resources and Inferred Mineral Resources.
- The updated MRE was prepared by Mr. Jonathon Abbott of MPR Geological Consultants of Perth, Australia who is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
- The estimates at 0.2g/t cut-off grade represent the base case or preferred scenario.
- Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Over the last 12 years exploration on the Koné Gold Project (formally the Morondo Gold Project) has been run by the same local team working for a number of different companies but throughout under the direction of Montage CEO, Hugh Stuart.
The application for the Koné Exploration Permit was made by Red Back Mining in 2008 with soil sampling and trenching leading to the first shallow drilling by Red Back in 2010 just prior to the company’s acquisition by Kinross.
In 2013, Sirocco Gold, run by the ex-Red Back Management optioned the permit from Kinross and completed follow up shallow RC drilling defining the extents of the Koné deposit.
In 2017, Orca Gold, again run by the same ex-Red Back management acquired the full permit package from Kinross for stock and the pace of exploration increased with the first deeper RC drilling, 528m of core drilling to provide samples for initial metallurgical test work and following positive results a 13,360m RC program leading to the Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate in October 2018 (the “October 2018 MRE”).
Exploration completed by Montage from its formation in August 2019 up to the point of its initial public offering (“IPO”) in October 2020 focussed on expanding the knowledge of the Koné deposit at depth and extending surface geochemistry across previously unsampled eastern part of the permit.
Upon completion of the Company’s IPO, Montage first conducted a 20,000m expansion drill program during Q4 2020, targeting resource expansion below the depth extent of the October 2018 MRE. This drilling was successful in delineating a 4.00Moz Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate in January 2021 (the “January 2021 MRE”).
From January 2021 through July 2021, Montage completed approximately 60,000m of infill drilling to convert the Inferred Mineral Resource to the Indicated category. The outcome of the infill program was the initial Indicated Mineral Resource reported in the August 2021 MRE. The drilling was not only successful in converting effectively 100% of the January 2021 Inferred Mineral Resource, but also resulted in overall growth of the Koné deposit.
Geology & Mineralization
The Koné Gold Project lies over the southern part of the Birrimian aged Boundiali Basin and covers the extensions of the regional scale and highly prospective Tongon and Syama shear systems.
The mineralization at Koné is hosted within a 150-330m wide complex quartz diorite package which dips 45-50° west and strikes north-south, and is interpreted as a series of intrusions rather than a single coherent intrusion. The diorite package is intruded into folded mafic volcaniclastic country rocks. Metamorphic grade in the area is upper greenschist to lower amphibolite facies. A foliation striking north-south and dipping 45-50° to the west is consistent throughout the area.
The hanging wall contact of the diorite package with the overlying volcaniclastic package is well defined by current drilling and is marked by thin dykes of diorite and a 10-20m thick, barren diorite body.
In the footwall, mafic volcaniclastic rocks dominate the geology and are also intruded by thin, foliation parallel diorite dykes which have weak gold values associated with their contacts. Folds observed in the volcaniclastic rocks typically plunge between 10-40° towards the southwest.
The diorites are coarse to fine-grained, grey in colour and composed of domains of plagioclase ± quartz and domains of mafic minerals – dominantly biotite. Grain size variations are common and coarse grained and fine-grained variations are captured by the core logging and often have sharp, measurable contacts which suggest the diorite is a polyphase composite intrusive with multiple pulses of diorite (of the same composition and appearance) intruding into each other. However, the coarse and fine components of the package can also have soft gradational contacts and grade into one another progressively.
Mineralization at Koné is characterized by mineralized true widths of between 170 and 330m at average grades of between 0.5g/t and 1.2g/t.
The diorite intrusion is consistently mineralized with gold associated with 1-3% fine, disseminated pyrite with elevated gold grades related to an increase in the frequency of 1-5mm quartz + calcite + pyrite veinlets which are oriented north-south and dipping 45-50° west, consistent with the foliation.
Hydrothermal alteration is weak and dominated by biotite. Silicification is rare.
The cross section below illustrates the resource shells from the January 2021 MRE, the August 2021 MRE and the May 2021 PEA. The section clearly demonstrates the remarkable continuity of mineralization across extreme widths, the natural dip of the deposit as well the presence of higher-grade portions within the resource. It is these attributes of the Koné deposit that position the KGP to be a low-cost, large scale open pit as demonstrated by the results of the May 2021 PEA.
Preliminary Economic Assessment Highlights
Upon completion of the Company’s IPO in October 2020, Montage commissioned a preliminary economic assessment led by Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd. On May 25, 2021, the Company released the results of the preliminary economic assessment (“May 2021 PEA”), the full text of which can be reviewed in the 43-101 Technical Report available here.
The PEA is based on an open-pit gold mine feeding an 11Mtpa gold processing facility. The Project will produce an average of approximately 205,000 ounces of gold per year over the life of the mine. The initial life of the Project is 14.7 years with upside potential through regional exploration and identification of satellite pits targeted at higher grades that can be mined and trucked to the central processing facility.
Initial capital to fund construction and commissioning is estimated at $490 million with total capital estimated at $935 million over the LOM including closure costs. All-in sustaining costs are estimated at $835 per ounces during the first three years of the Project, well below the current industry average and $975 per ounce over the life of the Project. Process costs of just $7.20/t position the Project to take advantage of processing satellite pits identified through exploration.
The financial analysis performed from the results of this PEA demonstrates the economic viability of the Koné Gold Project using the base case gold price assumption of $1,600 per ounce. This results in an after-tax net present value cashflow at a 5% discount rate (NPV5%) of $652 million and an after-tax IRR of 31% (both on a 100% basis).
Summary production and financial statistics from the May 2021 PEA are presented below.
PEA Summary: A Solid Foundation
|Mining Cost||$2.90/t, mined|
|Processing (including rehandle)||$7.20/t, processed|
|Total Cash Costs||$15.39/t, processed|
|Cash Costs (Avg LOM)||$827/payable oz|
|Cash Costs (Avg First 3 Years)||$701/payable oz|
|AISC (Avg LOM)||$975/payable oz|
|AISC (Avg First 3 Years)||$835/payable oz|
|Initial Capex (including contingency)||$489.9M|
|Sustaining Capital (including closure)||$444.9M|
|VALUATION||$1,600/oz Au||$1,700/oz Au|
|NPV (5%, After-tax) (100% basis)||$652.2M||$781.3M|
|Payback Period||2.8 years||2.5 years|
|Avg EBITDA (First 3 Years)||$261.5M||$283.9M|
As part of the May 2021 PEA, a comprehensive testwork program was carried by SGS Lakefield on 43 comminution and 39 leach optimization and variability samples representing range of material and rock types at the Koné deposit.
The testwork program demonstrated that the Koné deposit mineralization can deliver high gold recoveries with low reagent consumptions and medium-low resistance to grinding provide favourable processing economics and a simple flowsheet.
The table below shows the forecast gold recoveries based and reagent consumptions at the average deposit grades along with reagent consumptions. Forecast gold recoveries were estimated based on predicted residue grades for average feed grades, solution loss of 0.01mg/l Au and carbon fines loss of 0.15%.
Cyanide consumption is low to very low and lime consumption is low for the predominant fresh zone (88%), but higher for the less dominant transition (5%) and oxide (7%) zones.
|Oxidation Zone||LOM Plant Feed
|Average LOM Grade
Comminution testwork results are shown below at a grind size of 75 micros. The fresh mineralization is soft in terms of resistance to ball milling, moderately hard in terms of resistance to SAG milling and crushing with medium abrasivity.
|Test||Units||Average||SGS Lakefield Classification|
|Bond Ball Mill Work Index||kWh/t||11.3||Soft|
|SAG Milling Index||A x b||30.0||Moderate|
|Crusher Work Index||kWh/t||15.8||Medium|
Excellent Access and Infrastructure
The Koné Gold Project is ideally situated for development with an asphalt road crossing through the Project area, ample surface area for development of Project related infrastructure, access to water and with limited disturbance to local inhabitants.
Advancing the Koné Gold Project
With the completion of the May 2021 PEA and the August 2021 MRE, the Company is encouraged by the potential of the Koné Gold Project. The Company is advancing towards the completion of a Feasibility Study, expected by the end of 2021, or by early Q1 2022. In addition, permitting efforts are well underway with the submission of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”), expected in Q4 2021. The Company is fully funded for completion of the Feasibility Study as well as permitted and anticipates having a fully-permitted Project by early Q2 2022.
- JUL 2008 Red Back applies for the Morondo Exploration Permit
- 2009 Soil sampling program identifies anomaly at Koné
- OCT 2010 Drilling confirms mineralization at Koné; Red Back acquired by Kinross
- 2013 Sirocco Gold signs option agreement; continues exploring Koné
- 2017 Orca Gold acquires KGP from Kinross; expands exploration
- FEB 2017 Two diamond core holes drilled for metallurgical testing
- OCT 2018 Maiden Inferred Resource of 1.97Moz (at 0.20g/t cut-off)