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Endeavour Mining unveils exploration plan

Endeavour Mining, West Africa’s top gold producer, has unveiled an ambitious five-year plan to add between 15 to 20 million indicated ounces of gold through exploration over the next five years.

The newly outlined program seeks to extend the life of its seven core assets beyond 10 years. It also aims to discover new greenfield projects. An average of US $80 million will be spent in a year and expected to add the resources at a cost of less than US $25 per ounce, well below West Africa’s producers’ average of US $74/oz and the global mean of $83/oz.

The company, which began trading in London in June sees the most potential at its Ity mine in Cote d’Ivoire, where it is targeting an output of between 3.5-4.5 million ounces of gold by the end of 2025. Other major contributors will be Houndué in Burkina Faso (3-4 million ounces expected), Sabodala-Massawa in Senegal (2.3-2.7Moz) and Wahignion (1.5-2Moz).

Flagship mines

“While we see significant opportunities across our portfolio, we are particularly pleased with the potential defined at our flagship mines Sabodala-Massawa, Hounde and Ity. We believe these mines have the potential to be Tier 1 assets with over 10 million ounces resource endowment, inclusive of historical production,” chief executive officer Sebastien de Montessus said in a statement.

Endeavour’s boss said the company is also “very pleased” to demonstrate the opportunities identified at its newest assets, which it obtained through the acquisition of Teranga Gold less than a year ago. Montessus said they have the potential to grow Endeavour’s current resources by as much as 60%.

BMO Metals analysts Raj Ray said the target of 15-20 million gold ounces target could potentially translate to 10-14 million gold ounces in reserves, given Endeavour has historically achieved a resource to reserves conversion rate of about 70%.

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