After keeping their heads down during a recent mine development phase, executives from West Africa-focused Endeavour Mining Corp.
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During a marketing trip that included a stop off in Vancouver Tuesday, Endeavour Chief Financial Officer Christian Milau said the company expects to produce up to 440,000 ounces of gold this year from four operating mines in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Mali.
He also said Endeavour sees the opportunity to add another 180,000 ounces of annual gold production to its roster by developing the Hounde Project in Burkino Faso at a cost of around $315 million.
It means that while other gold miners are hunkering down and even shutting operations, Endeavour is looking forward to growth.
Speaking to a lunch time audience of brokers and investors, Milau said he is as frustrated as anyone with the company’s stock price, which traded this week at 96 cents, leaving a market cap of $396.6 million, based on 413.1 million shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $1.02 and 44 cents.
“We are shareholders ourselves,’’ he said.
So, despite the uncertainty in global gold markets, Milau decided it was high time to get out and explain what the company is trying to accomplish in West Africa. “We are quietly proud of our achievements, we need to tell the story,’’ he said.
The biggest producer in the company’s portfolio is the Tabakoto mine, which is expected to generate up to 155,000 ounces gold this year. Number two is the Nzema mine in Ghana, where the target this year is 120,000 ounces.
The Agbaou mine in Cote d’Ivoire reached the commercial production stage in January 2014, and is expected to produce up to 95,000 ounces this year.
If all goes according to plan, Hounde will be on line by 2017.
Meanwhile the company has been focused on costs, after producing a record 122,517 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2014 for an all-in sustaining cost of $1,021 per ounce.
In a press release accompanying Endeavour’s financial results, CEO Neil Woodyer said the company is on track to reduce its all-in sustaining costs for all of 2014 to a range of between $1,070 and $985.
Woodyer also said he is pleased that the new Segala mine, which is now delivering ore to the mill at Tabakoto, where the transition to “owner-mining” [as opposed to contract operator] is now complete. “Looking forward, we expect mining costs will reduce as the ore production from Segala ramps up during the second half of 2014,’’ he said.
The Segala ramp up is part of a transition at Tabakoto that will see an end to production from the Djambaye open pit before the end of this year.
The Tabakoto mine is held 80% by Endeavour and 20% by the government of Mali, and is located near the border with Senegal.