Modern Mining

Endeavour Mining Corporation, listed on the TSX, has announced that the construction of its Houndé gold project in Burkina Faso has been completed US$15 million below its initial capital budget with commercial production being declared more than two months ahead of schedule.

Comments Sébastien de Montessus, President and CEO: “We are extremely proud to declare commercial production ahead of schedule, below-budget, and most importantly at full nameplate capacity with all key metrics ahead of the assumptions set out in the feasibility study. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our integrated project team led by Jeremy Langford, our COO & EVP Projects, which has successfully designed and delivered the project over the past four years from feasibility through to commercial production.

“As demonstrated by its very low All-In-Sustaining Costs of below US$600/oz, Houndé is expected to immediately start contributing to the Group's free cash flow generation. After unlocking value by successfully bringing the project into production, we now look forward to quickly creating further value through our exploration programme."

The Houndé mine began processing ore ahead of schedule on September 25, 2017, and achieved its first gold pour on 18 October 2017. A seven-day performance trial testing period was recently successfully completed with all key metrics above targets: a processing rate of 8 600 tonnes per day (or 105 % of nameplate capacity), an overall plant availability of 96 % (compared to the target of 91 %) and a gold recovery rate of 95 % (compared to 93 % expected over the life of mine). Over the remainder of the year, maintenance and optimisation down-time periods have been scheduled.

Mining activities at the Main Vindaloo open pit are progressing well with nearly three-months' worth of feed already stockpiled and positive grade reconciliation against the resource model being achieved. The current stockpile totals 571 000 tonnes at 2,6 g/t containing 47 koz, inclusive of 130 000 tonnes at over 5,0 g/t. Resettlement compensation for communities living near the high-grade Bouere and Dohoun satellite deposits has commenced, with mining activities scheduled to begin in late 2018.

As mentioned, the Houndé build was completed well within the initial capital budget of US$328 million. As construction was tracking ahead of schedule and below budget, Endeavour decided, in addition to the initial planned works, to spend an additional US$21 million (mainly for the addition of a 26 MW back up power station and fuel farm and to build a second tailings storage facility), bringing the total spend to US$334 million.

Houndé will rank as Endeavour’s flagship low-cost mine, ranking amongst West Africa's top tier cash generating mines, with an average annual production of 190 000 ounces at an AISC of US$709/oz over an initial 10-year mine life based on reserves. In its first four years of operation, the average annual production is expected to be 235 000 ounces at an AISC of US$610/oz.

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