Resolute produces gold from world’s first fully autonomous underground mine

Resolute Mining has delivered first gold from its Syama underground mine in Mali – the world’s first purpose-built, fully automated sub-level cave mine.

The ASX-listed miner extracted first ore from the Southern end of the 1105 level of Syama, which marks the beginning of the much anticipated main caving operation.

Production will be ramped up to 2.4 million tonnes per year by June next year, after Resolute completes commissioning of its fully autonomous fleet, which is targeted for January 2019.

Chief executive John Welborn said: “Syama will be the most sophisticated and advanced gold mine in Africa. Our investment in exploration, infrastructure, technology, power and innovation at Syama has transformed a world class orebody into a world class mine.

“The commissioning of Project 85, a series of sulphide processing plant upgrades, will enable us to achieve improved recoveries from high-grade ore sourced from the new sublevel cave.”

Welborn added that automation has been key to pushing Syama’s life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs to below US$750 per ounce.

The trucks, robotic loaders and drills at Syama have all been designed in partnership with Swedish engineering company Sandvik, which has a strong history of providing automation services.