Endeavour Mining started construction of its 90% owned Houndé gold project in western Burkina Faso on April 11, the same day that True Gold Mining’s Karma mine poured its first gold in north-central Burkina Faso. Endeavour acquired True Gold in a transaction that was approved at special meetings of the companies’ shareholders on April 21 and that closed on April 26. Acquisition of Karma adds 110,000 to 120,000 oz/y to Endeavour gold production over a projected mine life of 8.5 years based on current reserves.
The Houndé project is designed to deliver average production of 190,000 oz/y of gold over a 10-year mine life at an all-in sustaining cost of $709/oz, based on current reserves. The project is an open-pit mine with a 3-million-mt/y gravity/carbon-in-leach plant. Initial capital cost to develop the project is estimated at $328 million, inclusive of $47 million for an owner-operated mining fleet. Project capital spending in 2016 is expected to be approximately $180 million, with the remainder scheduled
The current upfront capital cost estimate is based on power supply from Sonabel, the Burkina Faso national electricity utility, consisting of a 38-km, 91-kV overhead power line.
When the Houndé project reaches full production in 2018, Endeavour’s company-wide gold production rate will increase to about 900,000 oz/y, and its average all-in sustaining cost will drop to below $800/oz.
The overall duration of Houndé project construction is estimated at 18 months. Endeavour plans to self-perform 72% of the project build, with Lycopodium contracted to focus on the processing facility, which is the remaining 28% of the total capital commitment for the project.
Houndé has proven and probable reserves totaling 31 million mt, grading 2.1 g/mt and containing 2.1 million oz of gold; measured and indicated resources totaling 38 million mt, grading 2.1 g/mt and containing 2.5 million oz; and inferred resources totaling 3 million mt, grading 2.6 g/mt and containing 300,000 oz.