Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) (TSE:PRU) has executed a Mining Convention with authorities in Côte d’Ivoire covering the Yaouré Gold Project, which is set to become the company’s third operating mine in West Africa.
The convention provides a guarantee of fiscal stability and sets out a range of other rights and obligations that will apply to Perseus during the life of the Yaouré mine in central Côte d’Ivoire.
It was signed by representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and Perseus’s Ivorian subsidiary, Perseus Mining Yaouré SA, at a ceremony held in the country’s capital Abidjan.
A “major milestone”
Perseus’s managing director and CEO Jeff Quartermaine said the signing of the Yaouré Mining Convention was a major milestone on the path to bringing the Yaouré Gold Mine into production.
He said, “With the document now signed, we can move forward with confidence in the knowledge that the fiscal laws on which our decision to develop the mine was based, will not change during the life of the mine.”
Construction of the Yaouré mine is being completed at a total cost of US$265 million.
Development work started in June 2019 and is progressing on schedule and on budget.
First gold is expected to be poured in December 2020, one month ahead of the currently contracted completion date.
Mine life extension likely
Quartermaine said, “At this stage, an open pit mine with an expected mine life of 8.5 years has been defined at Yaouré.
“However, it is considered likely that the life of the mine will be extended well beyond this limit as the very considerable mineral potential of the tenements on which the mine is located, is progressively unlocked.
“In this regard, work has begun on delineating mineral resources that can be mined using underground mining techniques and at this stage the results of this work are encouraging.”
New 6-year high reached
The company, which has a market cap of approximately $1.13 billion, reached a new 6-year high of $1.075 last Thursday.
“Yaouré will be Perseus’s third gold mine and our second gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire,” the MD and CEO said.
“When Yaouré is fully operational, Perseus will be producing in excess of 500,000 ounces of gold per year.
“The average all-in site cost of producing gold at Yaouré over the first five years of the mine is forecast to be US$734 per ounce, meaning that if gold prices are maintained at current levels, then very strong cashflows will be generated and available for funding benefits for our stakeholders.”
Third operating mine
Yaouré will join the Sissingué Gold Mine, also in Côte d’Ivoire, and the Edikan Gold Mine in Ghana, in Perseus’s multi-mine, geopolitically diverse portfolio of mines.