Endeavour expects production of gold to come from three open pits at the Agabou mine over the life of the project (Image: Endeavour Mining Corp.)

Endeavour expects production of gold to come from three open pits at the Agabou mine over the life of the project (Image: Endeavour Mining Corp.)

Endeavour Mining (EDV:TSX), the African gold miner, that currently operates three mines in West Africa has announced commercial production has been reached at its fourth mine; Agbaou in Cote d'Ivoire.  The company expects to grow production by 1/3rd this year, to approximately 400,000 ounces (up from 300,000 ounces in 2013) while reducing all-in costs per ounce below $1,000 per ounce.  Agbaou is expected to produce between 85,000 and 95,000 ounces this year with LOM production expected around 100,000 ounces per year at an all-in sustaining cost of $800 per ounce.  Commercial production was declared as the process plant achieved approximately 125% of design throughput and gold recovery exceeding 94% over the prior 30 day period.

In addition, at the official mine opening ceremony, a mining convention was signed with the State of Ivory Coast that includes a strong stability clause outlining fiscal conditions and including gold royalty rates and a corporate tax holiday.  These include the following, all of which are in line with other operations in the country:

  • Royalties: A  sliding scale will be from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, depending on gold price.
  • Corporate tax holiday: Agbaou mine is eligible for a corporate tax holiday for five years from commencement of commercial gold production.
  • Stability: A strong stability clause defining fiscal limits will be for the duration of the mining permit.
Neil Woodyer, CEO of Endeavour meeting with Côte d'Ivoire's President Ouattara and Chantal de Varennes, Canadian Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire in May 2013 (Photo: CNW Group/Endeavour Mining Corporation)

Neil Woodyer, meeting with Côte d'Ivoire's President Ouattara in May 2013 (Photo: CNW Group/ Endeavour Mining Corp.)

Neil Woodyer, CEO, stated: "Declaring commercial production at Agbaou marks the successful completion of an 18-month construction period.  Endeavour will now benefit from Agbaou's low-cost gold production.  Agbaou was completed safely, ahead of schedule and under our $160-million capital budget."

Endeavour's management team has a track record of delivering on guidance and the fact they were able to build this mine ahead of their forecast and under their budget is a strong testament to their ability to continue to meet guidance.

Endeavour operates the Nzema open pit mine in Ghana which produced between 102-107,000 ounces in 2013 at cash costs between $850-$900 per ounce.  They also operate the Tabakoto open pit and underground mine in Mali which produced between 126-131,000 ounces at cash costs of $880-$920 per ounce.  They have two projects in Burkina; one producing mine called Youga which produced 87-92,000 ounces in 2013 at cash costs between $740-$780 per ounce.

The company is awaiting on clarity to make its final production decision on their development project, Hounde, also located in Burkina.  This project comes with a $315 million price tag but would add 180,000 ounces per year over an 8 year mine-life.

Read: Endeavour Mining Declares Commercial Production at Agbaou and Signs Convention

Also read: Endeavour Mining: 2013 Results, 2014 Guidance, Agbaou Mine Commissioning Coming Up

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