Tietto Minerals – Unlocking Côte d’Ivoire’s Gold

On its 10th anniversary, Tietto Minerals is well on track to implementing its gold strategy in West Africa.

The gold explorer and developer Tietto is focused on fast-tracking the development of its Abujar Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire. Positioned in a stable, vastly under-explored mining jurisdiction in one of Africa’s most well-developed nations with outstanding infrastructure, it is located close to good regional and local infrastructure to facilitate exploration and development, being only 15km from the nearest tarred road and grid power.

Located approximately 30 km from the major regional city of Daloa in central-western Côte D’Ivoire, Abujar is comprised of three contiguous tenements with a total land area of 1,114 km2, of which less than 10% has been explored; this provides significant potential for the resource to grow.

Abujar’s current resource stands at 45.5 Mt @ 1.5 g/t Au for 2.15 Moz of contained gold. Since October 2019 the company’s diamond drill rigs have delivered more than 61,000 metres of drilling, with some of the gold sector’s lowest costs. Tietto has five company-owned drill rigs at the Abujar project site, with four rigs drilling day and night as well as one rig as a back-up.

Fast progress

Established in 2010 by Dr CaiGen Wang, the current Managing Director and an internationally recognised mining expert, Tietto Minerals was ASX-listed in 2017, with an IPO in 2018, pursuing a clear strategy of business transformation from explorer to gold producer.

The speedy development of the company reflects Dr Wang’s extensive experience in his long career as a mining engineer and mine manager in Australia and China. His recent professional experience includes being Managing Director for an ASX-listed junior mineral resources company, as well as senior technical and management roles in various mining houses. He has worked on a variety of mineral commodities including coal, gold, base metals and oil sands. Dr Wang is a fellow of the AusIMM.

He acknowledged that in July 2020 the company reached a significant milestone when it was ready to apply for a mining licence at its 2.15-million-ounce gold project covering 120 square kilometres, continuing its speedy progress towards a proposed mine development.

“Tietto’s rapid progress in undertaking the work programmes required for the approval of a mining licence at our flagship Abujar gold project propels the company into a new chapter as a future gold producer in West Africa. We expect significant milestones to be achieved in the coming months which will ultimately result in the granting of a mining licence and environment permit,” he said.

He affirmed that while making rapid progress, the health and safety of the employees is a top priority, and the safety culture is enhanced through effective two-way communication and accountability, as well as through continuous development of employees’ knowledge of safety best practices. From the beginning, Tietto has fostered close relationships with local communities. The company is also working to reduce its footprint through the conservation and protection of biodiversity, aiming to achieve internationally recognised environmental standards.

Earlier this year, the company engaged key environmental specialists, including RPMGlobal, to advance work on baseline environmental, social and governance (ESG) studies. In addition to RPMGlobal, Tietto has also engaged Côte d’Ivoire-based Envitech to conduct the baseline fieldwork necessary for the compilation of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) required to obtain environmental approval.

“The appointment of these key ESG consultants is part of our strategy to advance work on the project studies needed for the granting of a mining licence and ultimately the development of a mining operation at Abujar,” explained Dr Wang.

From explorer to producer

Tietto is well-funded to complete its milestones during 2020-21, which include a pre‐feasibility study (PFS) for Abujar, expected to be released in the first quarter of 2021. Last month (August 2020) Tietto Minerals announced it had raised $62.5 million to move the Abujar Gold Project forward; this funding will be used to continue to deliver growth in resources through exploration drilling. Binding commitments for underwritten and non-underwritten placement have been received.

“Abujar is a highly promising project with its pre-feasibility study now under way. We are drilling using our own fleet of rigs, achieving some of the lowest exploration costs in the sector and therefore offering a highly attractive opportunity to investors. I believe we generate more value than other exploration and mining companies,” said Mr Wang.

“I am very proud of what the Tietto team has been able to deliver, driving rapid resource growth from a large high-grade gold deposit and doing so at an extremely low delivery cost. I expect Tietto will continue to deliver strong performance in the months ahead.”

Mineral resource drilling at Abujar over the next 12 months will cover about 45,000 metres as well as exploration drilling of 25,000 metres across multiple targets. Mr Wang reflected that given the developments, the company is set to change its business model to transform into a gold producer within the next 12 to 18 months. “Our plans for the second half of next year are to start operating a modern gold mine.”

Given that Tietto listed on the ASX only three years ago, Mr Wang can be very pleased with the company’s achievements to date and has every reason to believe that his plans for next year will materialise.

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