Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) is progressing the development of the Yaouré Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire which remains on schedule to achieve first gold this month, subject to no COVID-19 related delays.
The Yaouré mine is nearing completion, with the company releasing its October development update video displaying the camp, plant process area and associated infrastructure nearing completion.
It will be the company's third operating ming in West Africa behind Edikan in Ghana and Sissingué in Côte d’Ivoire.
Perseus expects to meet its goal of reaching 500,000 ounces of annual gold production after returning strong FY20 financial results along with the expected increased production capacity from Yaouré once the site is operational.
Highlighting its successful transition to a multi-mine, multi-jurisdictional gold producer, Perseus recorded EBITDA from operations of A$273.8 million in FY20, a 67% increase compared to the previous financial year.
This follows an increase in sales revenue of 16% to A$591.2 million and a decrease in cost of sales of 8% to A$317.4 million.
With cash and bullion on hand valued at A$237.5 million at the end of FY20, the company is in a net cash positive position of A$19.8 million after outstanding debt of A$217.7 million has been brought to account.
The total spent on developing the Yaouré mine sits at around A$214.9 million.
With a continued strong gold price, Perseus expects to be in a position to generate even more material amounts of free cash flow than it has done in FY2020 and record significant profits that will enable the company to continue to grow, manage its balance sheet and potentially start returning cash to shareholders via a future dividend stream.
Given the potential for changes to PRU’s operating environment due to COVID-19, forecasting future gold production or costs with full confidence is challenging.
The company said every effort was being applied to maintaining ‘business as usual’ and achieving internal production and cost targets, but success could not be guaranteed while the spread of COVID-19 continued in West Africa.