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Tietto Minerals hitting its straps with record African gold production

Tietto Minerals mined over 37,000 ounces during the March quarter at its Abujar mine in Cote d’Ivoire. Credit: File

After a slowish ramp up period Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) is starting to hit its straps with record quarterly gold production at its Abujar mine in Cote d’Ivoire for the March quarter of 37,111 ounces of gold. Notably the company says it will pay down the last of its debt with a US$6.5m payment in the June quarter.

The March 2024 quarterly production result was an increase of 1558 ounces over the December quarter. Grades are also continuing to head in the right direction with the March quarter showing 0.99 grams per tonne gold processed, up from 0.98 g/t in the December quarter and 0.95 g/t gold in the September quarter.

A total of 1,232,000 tonnes of ore were processed in the March quarter at a grade 0.99 of g/t gold. Plant recoveries were a respectable 95 per cent.

We expect to achieve continual operational improvements as the year progresses. Tietto’s gold sales remain unhedged and we are benefitting strongly from the current gold prices.
Tietto Minerals managing director Matt Wilcox

The company is yet to table its full March quarterly with financials however for the half year to December during the ramp up period it managed to churn out an ounce of gold at an all in sustaining cost of US$1311. As at December 31st the company was holding over A$80m in cash, bullion and VAT receivables and notably, the mine churned out some $51.5m in free cash for the 12 months up until December 31st 2023 – and that was during the ramp up period.

Tietto’s annual production goal at the mine is 170,000 ounces per annum over a nine year mine life and the company says it is looking to get its all in sustaining costs down to around US$982 an ounce eventually.

First acquired in mid 2015, the Abujar Gold Project’s JORC-compliant resource has grown to 3.83 million ounces. The Abujar Ore Reserves (proved and probable), now stand at 1.22 million ounces.

A treatment plant at the project was constructed and a maiden gold pour took place in January 2023.

It is located 30km from the major regional city of Daloa and is close to sealed roads and grid power.

Additionally, a scoping study identified potential for a heap leach operation only 7 km from the Abujar operations that the company says could deliver an additional 850,000 oz of gold over a projected mine life of 10 years.

Tietto has just appointed former Arrow Minerals managing director Howard Golden to the role of corporate exploration manager. Golden has also held roles with Nordgold, Rio Tinto, Marvel Gold, Kinross Gold Corporation and WMC Resources and has been an adjunct associate professor at the University of Western Australia.

Late last year, Tietto received an unsolicited takeover bid (that its board has recommended against) from Zhaojin Capital, a subsidiary of Zhaojin Mining Industry Company (Zhaojin), to acquire 100 per cent of Tietto.

Tietto says the takeover bid price of 58c a share is way too low and has backed up that view with an independent valuation – and it may well be right too if production rates and grades continues to head north.

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