The UK's Hummingbird Resources has signed a collaboration agreement to develop of a 20-30 MW hydro-electric power plant in southeast Liberia.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hummingbird will work with IFC InfraVentures, the IFC Global Infrastructure Project Development Fund, and Aldwych International to bring the project to fruition.
The project site is located about 10 km from Hummingbird's 4.2Moz Dugbe 1 Gold Project.
"This collaboration represents an extremely exciting opportunity for Hummingbird ... to develop a sustainable source of power for Dugbe 1 and to secure the future domestic power supply for the southeast Liberian region and in particular the town of Greenville," said Dan Betts, CEO of British firm.
"We believe, if successful, this HEP scheme will create a catalyst for growth of the region and provide a significant potential opex-saving opportunity for Dugbe 1," Betts said.
At the same time, the company reaffirmed its commitment to its other "gold project," Yanfolila in Mali.
"Having just raised $8.9million on top of our $75 million debt facility with Taurus, mine construction at Yanfolila is due to commence imminently with first production targeted for H1 2016," Betts said.
"In addition to our secured funding, we are conducting an open offer, as announced on 20 March 2015, to allow existing eligible shareholders to participate on the same terms as the placing. The open offer remains open until 14 April, and we look forward to updating the market on this in due course," he said.
In February 2014 Knight Piésold Consulting conducted a desk-top study with positive results regarding the development of a 20-30MW HEP plant to supply future power to Dugbe 1 once in production, and to contribute to the domestic power supply in the region.
Under the Agreement, the parties plan to embark on the development of a HEP plant. The participating parties will cooperate in a partnership with respect to conducting Pre-feasibility Studies ("PFS") for the HEP plant which would include again engaging KP again to conduct the analysis.
The PFS will be performed in two stages and is expected to be completed by April 2016.
Dugbe 1 is located within the Birimian Basin, the world's second largest gold producing region, characterised by exceptionally large, homogenous grade deposits which offer vast exploration and development scope.
With a current Resource of 4.2Moz Au at an average gold grade of 1.4 g/t Au, Dugbe 1 offers a large-scale development opportunity for Hummingbird. The Company completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment in April 2013 which demonstrated the viable economics of developing a 20 year gold mining project with initial gold production of 125,000 ounces, an NPV of US$186 million, IRR of 29% using a US$1,300 gold price.
The Company is continuing to advance Dugbe 1 and is progressing Definitive Feasibility Study optimisation work evaluating the large 4.2Moz gold resource, mining, processing and power capabilities with a view to future production viability.