TSX-listed Endeavour Mining, which operates several mines gold mines in West Africa including the new Houndé mine in Burkina Faso, has announced its preliminary financial and operating results for the fourth quarter (Q4-2018) and full year 2018 (FY-2018).
Production for Q4-2018 was up 25 % over Q3-2018 to 174 koz and AISC down 13 % to approximately US$715/oz. FY-2018 production was up 52 % over the prior year to 612 koz, beating the top end of the 555-590 koz guidance, while AISC was down approximately US$30/oz over the prior year to approximately US$745/oz, well below the guidance range of US$760 – 810/oz. FY-2019 production is expected to increase to 615 – 695 koz and AISC is anticipated to remain low at US$760 – 810/oz.
A recent view of the Ity CIL plant.
Endeavour says that following the strong success achieved in 2018, exploration will continue to be a strong focus in 2019 with a company-wide exploration programme of US$45-50 million.
The company also reports that construction of the 4 Mt/a Ity CIL project in Côte d’Ivoire is progressing on-budget and ahead of schedule with the dry plant commissioning completed and the first gold pour expected in early Q2-2019. Major milestones achieved to date include more than 7 million man-hours worked with zero lost-time injuries.
Ity is expected to produce 160 – 200 koz in 2019 at an AISC of US$525 – US$590/oz, with the bottom-end production guidance corresponding to the nameplate capacity while the top-end allows for possible upsides such as an earlier start date, a quicker than expected ramp-up and the plant producing above its nameplate
“Our strong performance across all of our mines in Q4 capped a successful year for Endeavour during which we beat our production guidance and ended with AISC lower than the guided range while maintaining a strong safety record,” commented Sébastien de Montessus, President & CEO of Endeavour. “The first full-year contribution from Houndé, coupled with the successful management of our portfolio, have sustainably decreased our all-in sustaining costs to below our strategic target of US$800/oz.
“2019 is expected to be another strong year as we look forward to the first gold pour at the Ity CIL plant in early Q2, where construction continues to progress ahead of schedule and on budget. Meanwhile, we will maintain an aggressive exploration programme to build on the significant success achieved thus far.
“Over the past two years, we have diligently worked to transform our portfolio, investing nearly US$1 billion into the business. Once Ity CIL commences production, we expect to enter a period of sustained strong free cash flow generation with a continued focus on return on capital employed. In line with this approach, we have optimised our business plans with a greater emphasis on free cash flow metrics and intend to release working capital from the available low-grade stockpiles.
“2019 is a pivotal year as the efforts we have made thus far are expected to generate significant growth in 2020 and beyond – Ity CIL will benefit from a full-year’s production and Houndé from the newly discovered high-grade Kari Pump deposit.”