Perkoa Zinc Project to Begin Concentrate Production

Blackthorn Resources, co-owner and operator of the Perkoa zinc project in Burkina Faso, reports that it has 42,000
mt of ore from open-pit and 20,000 mt from underground mine development stockpiled on the run-of-mine pad for use at the
processing plant, which was expected to begin concentrate production in December 2012.
Blackthorn Resources reported in November that the Perkoa zinc project in Burkina Faso would produce its first concentrate in mid-December. The project is a joint venture between Glencore International (50.1%), Blackthorn (39.9%), and the Burkina Faso government (10% free carried). It will be the first large-scale, underground, base metals mine in the country.

A total of 3,655 m of mine develop-ment, including ramp development, had been achieved at Perkoa as of mid-November. Sinking of the ventilation shaft was complete, and the shaft had been established as a secondary escape-way.

Water pumping tests from the Seboun dam, located 20 km from the mine, had been completed, and water is now being pumped directly to the processing-water dam.

Three 2-MW generators have been com-missioned and are supplying sufficient power for current operations. A fourth gen-erator has been delivered to the mine, and commissioning of this unit was ready to begin in mid-November.

The Perkoa project is located 120 km west of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s cap-ital city. The project has a JORC-compliant probable ore reserve of 6.3 million mt at a head grade of 13.9% zinc, using a 9% zinc cut-off. Plant throughput is planned at 720,000 mt/y over a mine life of 9.5 years. Concentrate production is planned to total 170,000 dry mt/y at a concentrate grade of 53% zinc.

The Perkoa deposit is a classic VMS deposit hosted by the Lower Proterozoic Birimian Belt. The deposit is unusual for its high concentrations of zinc and barium mineralization and relatively low levels of lead and copper. The prospective Birimian rocks in Burkina Faso are the same sequences that host major gold deposits in neighboring Ghana and Mali.

Blackthorn acquired 100% of the pro-ject in January 2005. Snowden Mining Industry Consultants completed a bank-able feasibility study in December 2005.

Blackthorn transferred a 10% interest in Perkoa to the Burkina Faso government in March 2007 in accordance with statutory requirements upon agreement of an exploitation license. In late 2010, the Percoa joint venture was formed between Blackthorn and Glencore, allowing construc-tion to advance the project toward start-up.

Blackthorn is an Australian junior com-pany headquartered in Sydney. The compa-ny is also exploring for gold in Burkina Faso and for iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) miner-alization at its Mumbwa project in Zambia.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 12 -