“We are proud to have successfully completed this major milestone ahead of schedule and below budget, with an exceptional safety record of over 6.5 million hours without a lost time injury,” says Endeavour Mining president and CEO, Sébastien de Montessus.
“The addition of Houndé will significantly improve Endeavour Mining’s portfolio quality as it is expected to double the group’s cash flow generation once fully ramped-up.
“As we approach commercial production, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our in-house construction team for successfully delivering Houndé and for their focus on diligently pushing forward our high-quality project pipeline.
The first ore was introduced into the processing plant on September 25, 2017.
Since that date, Endeavour Mining has successfully processed approximately 65 000 tons of ore.
Commercial production is expected to be declared in the coming weeks as the nameplate capacity through the crushing, milling and CIL circuits has already been reached and performance trial testing will soon commence.
Mining activities at the main Vindaloo open pit are progressing well with nearly three-months worth of feed already stockpiled and positive grade reconciliation against the resource model being achieved.
The current stockpile totals 620 000 tonnes at 2.9 g/t containing 57 koz, inclusive of 130 000 tons at over 5 g/t.
Resettlement compensation for communities living near the high-grade Bouere and Dohoun satellite deposits has commenced, with mining activities scheduled to commence in late 2018.
Exploration drilling, which resumed in early 2017 following a two year period of inactivity, has confirmed the occurrence of high-grade mineralisation at the nearby Kari Pump and other targets, with the initial results expected to be published in the coming weeks.
Once in production, Endeavour Mining’s 90%-owned Houndé project will become the company’s flagship low-cost mine, ranking amongst West Africa‘s top tier cash generating mines, with an average annual production of 190 000 oz at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of US$709/oz over an initial 10-year mine life based on reserves.
In its first four years, the average annual production is expected to be 235,000 ounces at an AISC of US$610/oz.
The project is an open pit mine with a 3 Mtpa gravity circuit / carbon-in-leach plant.
Construction began in April 2016 with an initial capital cost estimated at $328 million, inclusive of $46 million for the owner-mining fleet.
Feature image credit: Endeavour Mining