Yaouré Gold Mine (90% owned by Perseus)
Yaouré Gold Mine, in central Côte d’Ivoire, poured first gold in December 2020, becoming Perseus’s third operation. Perseus declared Commercial Production at Yaouré at the end of the March 2021 Quarter.
Yaouré is expected to produce more than 200,000oz gold per year over the first five years of its mine life at an average AISC of around US$734.
Perseu has identified a number of highly encouraging nearby exploration targets that will be followed up in coming periods with the expectation of delineating sufficient addition mineable Resources to materially extend the current 8.5 year mine life of Yaouré.
Following the granting of an Exploitation Permit and negotiation of a Mining Convention with the government of Côte d’Ivoire, development of Yaouré started in May 2019, using the same combination of development teams (Perseus and Lycopodium) that delivered Sissingué ahead of time and on budget. Development was funded through a combination of existing cash, corporate debt and cash flow from the Edikan and Sissingué operations and progressed on time and on budget allowing Perseus achieved a stretch target of pouring first gold at Yaouré in December 2020. Commissioning of the processing facility is currently underway and Commercial Production is expected to be declared in the March quarter of 2021 when various completion tests will have been successfully passed.
Perseus is implementing a similar community engagement model at Yaouré to that successfully employed at Sissingué. As the mine moves into operation, community consultation and skills assessments will be undertaken and training and employment committees established. As required under Ivorian law, 0.5% of the revenue generated by Yaouré will be paid into a Community Development Fund, from which a range of community determined, infrastructure and livelihood development projects will be funded.
The potential to add to the existing mine life at Yaouré appears to be significant following preliminary exploration programmes conducted on the Yaouré exploitation and exploration tenements.
Following a decision to develop the open pit mining operation at Yaouré, Perseus completed an scoping study for an additional underground mining operation in 2018. This study, while preliminary in nature, clearly demonstrated the potential for underground mining from the base of the CMA open pit on a Resource of 595,000 ounces grading at 6.2g/t, which is open at depth and along strike, giving rise to the thought that potential for a significant extension of Yaouré’s mine life beyond currently delineated Mineral Resources, is material. Furthermore, exploration potential on surface around the mine area and regionally is also considered to be very high.
Yaouré Key Points
- Technically robust – 3.3Mtpa plant with average annual gold production of 215,000 ounces at an AISC of US$734/oz for first 5 years
- Excellent location – 40km from the capital, close to existing infrastructure including renewable power supply and a skilled labour pool
- Modest capital cost of US$265 million, fully funded by a combination of existing cash, corporate debt and cashflow from existing operations
- At 30 June 2021, Mineral Resources of 3.9 million ounces including 1.63 million ounces of Ore Reserves
- Potential to materially extend current 8.5 year mine plan
- Highly prospective 360 square km land package surrounds the Yaouré mine
- Underground Scoping Study demonstrated potential viability of underground mining to extend mine life
- Capable of delivering significant value to Perseus’s shareholders from strong, long-life cash flows