Hot on the heels of a very solid 2022-23 result in late August, West African gold miner Perseus (ASX:PRU) has revealed a significant upgrade to the life of one of its key operations, Yaoure in Cote d’Ivoire.
Perseus announced at the annual Denver gold forum in the US that it had extended the operational life of the mine by more than 12 years, with potential for further extension. Drilling and analysis have pushed the target date to at least 2035, with additional work planned on other promising areas of possible mineralisation.
Perseus’s updated Life of Mine Plan (LOMP) for Yaoure now includes an underground mining operation below the CMA Open Pit, alongside the existing CMA Open Pit and an expanded Yaoure Open Pit.
Yaoure’s Ore Reserves and resources now total 37.2 million tonnes of ore grading 1.73 g/t gold, containing 2.07 million ounces of gold from open pits and underground. The mine’s new measured and indicated resources are estimated at 54.7 million tonnes grading 1.59 g/t gold, containing 2.80 million ounces of gold. Inferred Resources are estimated at 11.3 million tonnes, grading 1.9 g/t gold, containing 0.70 million ounces of gold.
The CMA UG Ore Reserves are based on drilling to 185 meters below the base of the CMA open pit, with Inferred Mineral Resources extending to 350 meters below the base of the pit and remaining open down plunge and at depth.
CEO Jeff Quartermaine said, “Our increase to the life of Yaoure Gold Mine to 12+ years announced today ensures Yaoure will continue to be an important part of Perseus’s geopolitically diverse asset portfolio for many years to come. When Perseus acquired Yaoure as a development project in 2016, the possibility of extending the life of the mine through development of an underground operation was not part of the plan. However, our discovery and subsequent engineering and planning that has led to today’s announcement bear testament to Perseus’s in-house ability to create significant value through organic growth. An underground mine planned for Yaoure will be Perseus’s first foray into underground mining, with all previous operations having been open cut operations. While the underground mine represents a new style of mining and a new challenge for us as a company.”
The company had revealed a pre-feasibility study for the underground mine back in August 2022, so the numbers have obviously stacked up in its favor.
Perseus reported record annual gold production of 535,281 oz in 2022-23, with revenue up 25% to $A1.246 billion and profit before tax more than doubling to $569 million.
Perseus said that in 2022-23, Yaoure exceeded both production and cost expectations, producing 273,941 ounces of gold, just over 51% of the Group’s total annual production, at an All-In Sustaining Cost (AISC) of $US755 per ounce, and sold 279,471 ounces of gold at an average sales price of US$1,800 per ounce.