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Perseus Mining pours first gold at Yaouré ahead of schedule

ASX and TSX-listed Perseus Mining Perseus Mining has successfully completed the first pour of gold at its Yaouré gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire.

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Perseus achieved this important milestone nearly five weeks ahead of schedule, consistent with its “stretch target” of first gold at Yaouré in December 2020. 

With construction of the Yaouré processing plant and associated infrastructure largely complete, Perseus will now focus on satisfying continuous performance tests and positioning to declare commercial production. Perseus expects to achieve both during the March 2021 quarter, when the first shipment of gold from the Yaouré mine site is also expected to occur.

Perseus acquired Yaouré when it merged with Amara Mining in April 2016. Since then, the company has completed an extensive programme of confirmatory drilling and test work and prepared a definitive feasibility study (DFS). After permitting and negotiating a mining convention with the Ivorian government, construction of the US$265 million mine started in August 2019.

Initially, lower grade oxide ore mainly from decommissioned heap leach pads will be processed in the Yaouré plant pending access to higher grade fresh ore from the CMA pit. During the first five years of the Yaouré mine life, the DFS forecasts annual gold production averaging around 215 000 oz at a weighted average all in site cost of (AISC) of approximately US$750/oz. An updated life of mine plan for Yaouré, taking the actual commissioning date, current mining rates, operating costs and possible increases in mineral resources into account, is scheduled for release in the March 2021 quarter.

With the successful development and commissioning of Yaouré, Perseus will own and operate three gold mines (Edikan, Sissingué and Yaouré) in two West African countries (Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire). The company will also be on track to achieve its goal to produce more than 500 000 ozpa of gold at a cash margin of more than $400/oz, and become a reliable intermediate gold company that generates material benefits for all of its stakeholders.

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“Pouring our first gold at Yaouré on 17 December 2020 represented the achievement of a major milestone in the construction and commissioning of Perseus’ third gold mine,” says Perseus Mining MD and CEO Jeff Quartermaine, noting that it also represented the delivery of another promise made to shareholders by Perseus’s management team, namely, to achieve its stretch target of first gold at Yaouré in December 2020.

“Being able to successfully develop the Yaouré gold mine, ahead of schedule and under budget during a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted many businesses around the world, is a testament to the skill, resilience and dedication of our in-house development team, technical and commercial support staff, our contractors and consultants.

“We are now looking forward to achieving our next target of increasing our production to more than 500 000 ozpa of gold at a cash margin of not less than $400/oz in FY2022. We will also extend our capacity to consistently produce gold at these levels for many years to come by organically increasing our Ore Reserve inventory through successful near-mine exploration programmes across our three mines,” says Quartermaine.

Perseus Mining is on track to increase annual gold production to at least 500 000 oz by FY2022.