Nearing completion of construction in a remote location in southwestern Mali, some 400 km west of the capital Bamako, is the Fekola mine. Lycopodium’s involvement in the development of this project is a continuation of a successful association with two other B2Gold projects – Otjikoto in Namibia and Masbate in the Philippines.
The process plant was designed to process nominally 4 Mtpa primary run of mine ore through single-stage primary crushing, an open SAG mill circuit with recycle pebble crushing, and a closed circuit ball mill, leach feed thickening with thickener overflow treated through a carbon in column circuit, leaching followed by carbon in pulp adsorption, elution and gold recovery to doré, cyanide detoxification, tailings thickening, and disposal circuits.
Fekola project infrastructure, also part of the Lycopodium design scope, includes process plant, administration and mine offices and workshops.
In 2015, Lycopodium completed an Optimised Feasibility Study. Once approvals were in place, B2Gold quickly commenced construction, making the decision to self-perform the project’s construction with Lycopodium providing resources to supplement the B2Gold construction team with engineering, schedule support and commissioning.
In 2016 B2Gold announced that, as a result of positive drill results and exploration potential, they had decided to increase throughput at Fekola and proceed with an expansion of the mill. Design factors built into the Optimised Feasibility Study by Lycopodium included 5 Mtpa assumptions for plant design, general infrastructure and tailings dam design and location, thus enabling ore throughput capacity to reach up to 5 Mtpa from the onset of initial production.
With this additional capital investment, the Fekola mill expansion is expected to be completed and commissioned in conjunction with the original plant commissioning.
The scope of services provided by Lycopodium included the process design, detailed engineering and design of the new facilities; delivering procurement services for equipment and materials purchases as well as providing a team of engineers who were integrated with B2Gold’s construction team to deliver site technical and scheduling support.