Pre-stripping has commenced at the Morila gold mine in Mali. According to Firefinch, the mining activities have begun as scheduled.
The Morila Gold Mine is an open-pit gold mine situated 180 km south of Bamako, near the community of Sanso, in the Sikasso Region of Mali. The operation is jointly owned by Firefinch Limited who owns 80%, while the Government of Mali owns the remaining 20%.
Initial activities comprise pre-stripping of waste from the first stage of the Morila Super Pit, which will continue during Q1 2022. The company added that ore mining is currently forecast to commence during Q2 2022, with the Morila Super Pit becoming a consistent source of ore in the second half of 2022.
World’s great open pit gold mines
Firefinch said that the commencement of mining at Morila represents an important step as the company seeks to ramp up production at Morila to levels above 100,000 ounces of gold per annum in 2022.
The Morila gold mine is one of the world’s great open pit gold mines, having produced over 7.5Moz of gold since 2000 at grades that were among the highest in the world, earning it the moniker “Morila the Gorilla”.
Firefinch indicated it acquired Morila for just US$28.9m in late 2020 with the strategic intent to rapidly increase production; initially targeting 70-90kozpa of gold from a combination of satellite pits, stocks and tailings, and thereafter growing production to 150-200kozpa of gold by mining the Morila Super Pit. Morila’s current global resource is 2.43 million ounces of gold.