Golden Star owns and operates the Wassa mine and the processing operations through a 90% held subsidiary. The mine is located in the southwestern region of Ghana approximately 35 km northeast of the town of Tarkwa. It lies in the Birimian Province of the West African Precambrian shield, within the southern portion of the Ashanti Greenstone Belt. The mine is accessible by a combination of paved and gravel roads and electric power to the site is available locally from the Ghana power grid.
The mine hosts a 2.7 mtpa carbon-in-leach (“CIL”) processing plant and ore is currently sourced from the single large Wassa Main pit.
Wassa is undergoing an expansion into high grade underground mining beneath the Main pit where drilling has been ongoing since late 2011. This drilling was successful in increasing the Wassa Mineral Resource. In late 2014, a Feasibility Study to determine the economic viability of an underground mine, operating in conjunction with the existing open pit mine, commenced. The results of the study support the Company’s decision to proceed with this development which is expected to improve the mine’s total after tax NPV to $176 million and provides an after tax IRR of 83% on initial capital expenditure of $39 million. A gold price of $1,200 per ounce was assumed in the Feasibility Study.
In 2014, Wassa was successful in securing a debt facility from a local Ghanaian bank that will provide the funding necessary to develop the underground mine. Construction started in mid 2015 and commercial production at Wassa Underground was achieved in January 2017. The development of the Wassa deposit is expected to provide a long term, high grade, low operating cost ore source for the Company going forward.
Recent drill campaigns have been successful in growing Wassa’s Mineral Reserves and Resources. At December 31, 2015, Wassa had mineral Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves of 1.5 million ounces at an average grade of 2.27 g/t Au, and 3.6 million ounces at an average grade of 2.02 g/t Au in Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
Mineral Reserves were prepared under the supervision of Dr. Martin Raffield, Senior Vice President Technical Services for the Company. Dr. Raffield is a "Qualified Person" as defined by Canada's NI 43-101.
Mr. S. Mitchel Wasel is a “Qualified Person” as defined by Canada’s NI 43-101. Mineral Resources were prepared under the supervision of S. Mitchel Wasel, Vice President of Exploration for Golden Star Resources.
To view Golden Star's latest Technical Report for Wassa, please click here.