Following the transaction, the Ity mine will be 80%-owned by dual-listed Endeavour Mining, 10% by the Drogba Group and 10% by the government of Cote d’Ivoire. The commercial terms of the transaction are yet to be finalised.
Located in western Côte d’Ivoire, Ity has the longest operating history of any gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire, with gold first discovered near the village of Ity in the 1950’s and the first modern gold production reported in 1991.
Ity has produced more than 1.2 Moz of gold in its +20 years of operation.
To increase the life of Ity, Endeavour Mining is in the process of embarking on a project to do just – the Ity CIL project.
A feasibility study into the project, undertaken by engineering firm Lycopodium in November 2016, outlined the potential for the Ity CIL project to deliver average production of 114 000 ozpa over a 14 year mine life at an AISC of $603/oz, based on current reserves, which have increased to 1.9 Moz, up 31% compared to in the pre-feasibility study.
The project, which is expected to be completed in 2018, will be comprised of multiple open pit mines and existing decommissioned heap leach stockpiles, and will include the construction of a new 3 Mtpa gravity circuit/ CIL plant as an alternate processing route to the current heap leach process, for notably the new discoveries made in recent years.
Moreover, the largest portion of Endeavour Mining’s exploration budget has been allocated to the Ity area in light of its strong prospectivity and potential to further extend the lives of the CIL project and heap leach operations.
A A$10 million exploration programme totalling approximately 50 000 m2 has been planned for 2017, which will be primarily focused on infill drilling at the Daapleu and Mount Ity deposits, and infill drilling and extension drilling at the new Bakatouo and Colline Sud discoveries, as well as on conducting initial drilling campaigns on strong Auger anomalies such as the Yacetouo and Vavoua targets.
Feature image credit: Endeavour Mining