According to a UN spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday announced the appointment of veteran UN peacekeeping official Dmitry Titov of Russia to lead a Special Investigation into recent attacks on peacekeepers and bases in the Beni territory of North Kivu Province, in the DRC. The probe will include a focus on the 7 December attack on a base of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) in Semuliki that killed 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and wounded 43 others. One blue helmet remains missing. The UN said the special probe will examine the circumstances surrounding these attacks, evaluate MONUSCO’s overall preparedness and response to the events and provide recommendations on how to prevent such attacks from occurring in the future or when they do occur, from having such lethal consequences. RELATED: In Tanzania, UN peacekeeping chief pays tribute to ‘blue helmets’ killed in DR CongoThe investigation team will head to the DRC early in January and will also visit relevant countries in Africa’s Great Lakes region. Alongside officials of the United Nations, the team will also include two military officers from Tanzania.Having joined the United Nations in 1991, Mr. Titov served as Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) from 2007 – 2017. He also served as Africa Director in DPKO’s Office of Operations.
Gold developer West African Resources Ltd reports that the Council of Ministers of the Government of Burkina Faso has approved changes to the original mining permit for the Sanbrado gold project which encompass revised mining and ore processing methods detailed in the latest feasibility study announced in June 2018. The updated mining permit approves changes to include underground mining in addition to open pit mining, and approves using the CIL processing method.Receipt of the updated mining permit completes another key milestone for the company and follows the government of Burkina Faso’s environmental approval for the Sanbrado project in April 2018.Managing Director Richard Hyde commented: “We have now completed the major permitting milestones for Sanbrado. We thank the government of Burkina Faso and local stakeholders for their continued support.“We are continuing to drill at M1 South and M5 and will release updated resource estimates and a scoping study investigating M5 underground potential by the end of Q3 2018.“We expect to appoint a banking syndicate to fund the majority of the project capital requirement by the end of Q4 2018.”The Sanbrado updated open pit and underground feasibility study confirms, stated on a 100% project basis at $1,300/oz gold:•Average annual production of 211,000 oz gold over first five years of mine life•76% increase in Probable Reserves to 1.6 Moz (20.4 Mt at 2.4g/t Au)•16 month post-tax pay back on $185 million pre-production capital costs•All-In Sustaining Costs (AISC) of $551/oz over first five years and $640 over life of mine•Pre-tax NPV5% of $567 million (A$754 million) and pre-tax IRR 62%•Post-tax NPV5% of $405 million (A$540 million) and post-tax IRR 49%•Environmental approval granted, updated mining licence expected Q3 2018•Discussions with project lenders in progress, debt package expected by end Q4 2018.The Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) upgrade includes:•40% increase in Indicated Resources at M1 South to 780,000oz gold, (1.5 Mt at 15.9g/t Au)•Project MRE now 2.35 Moz gold Indicated, 0.55 Moz gold Inferred.Substantial further upside to project through:•Recent high-grade beneath reserves shows scope to extend life past 4.5 years at M1 South•Scoping study to investigate underground potential of M5•Potential to increase plant throughput and compress mining schedule in later years.Sanbrado is located approximately 90 km east-southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The project covers an aggregate area of 116 km², comprising one granted mining permit and one granted exploration licence. WAF has a 90% interest in the project. The Government of Burkina Faso has a free-carried 10% interest.