The Q4, 2017 group production of Endeavour Mining increased by 38% over the previous quarter to 204 koz and AISC declined by 13% to circa $784/oz due to the successful start-up and out-performance of Houndé while the other mines performed in-line with expectations.
The company’s full-year 2017 group production increased by 14% over the prior year to 663 koz, attaining the top half of its 630 – 675 koz guidance while AISC decreased by $15/oz to circa $869/oz ending well within the guidance range of $850 – 895/oz.
The Nzema sale closed on 29 December 2017 and will be deconsolidated in the year-end financial statements.
Endeavour Mining CEO and president, Sébastien de Montessus states that the company’s strong performance in Q4 was driven by the successful start-up of Houndé which decreased the company’s all-in sustaining costs below $800 for the first time in Endeavour’s history.
“In 2017, we continued to deliver against our broader objectives as our strong operational performance helped us achieve key guidance metrics for annual gold production, AISC and free cash flow generation,” he comments.
“Our project development team successfully completed the Houndé mine on time and on budget, two months ahead of schedule, allowing the team to seamlessly transition to the Ity CIL project which remains on track for first gold pour in mid-2019.
“Organic growth was further enhanced through our reinvigorated exploration programme which is on track to delivering the ambitious 5-year discovery target set in 2016.
“Looking ahead, we expect the investment in Houndé and optimisation work at our Karma mine to position us well to compensate for expected declines in production at Agbaou, which is transitioning to harder ore, thereby enabling us to increase guidance for 2018.
“We will also continue to invest for longer-term growth and repositioning of the company.
“Our priorities will be the continued construction of the Ity CIL project, and exploration work to support an updated feasibility study at Kalana, with a project investment decision expected in advance of Ity’s first gold pour,” continues de Montessus.
Exploration investment will remain a key focus with 40% of the budget allocated to high-potential greenfield exploration activities in support of Endeavour Mining’s goal of generating its next large scale project through organic investment.
Finally, Endeavour Mining will continue to actively manage the company’s portfolio of mines to focus management efforts on high quality assets.
“The hard work of our entire team, with the full support of our board of directors, has positioned Endeavour Mining well to achieve its long term target of annual gold production of 800 koz at below $800/oz AISC in 2019.”
Feature image credit: Endeavour Mining