Endeavour Mining Corporation (TSE:EDV) (OTCMKTS: EDVMF), the Africa-focused gold miner, is eyeing improved production at its Houndé mine in Burkina Faso as it posted a 41% increase in reserves at the project.
The maiden reserve at the Kari Pump area of 7.3 million tonnes at 3.01 g/t (grams per ton) of the yellow metal for 710,000 ounces lifted Houndé’s total reserves by 41%, the miner said in a statement.
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There was an 89% conversion rate of the higher confidence M&I (measured and indicated) resource from Kari Pump into reserves based on a gold price of $1,250/oz.
Notably, Kari Pump is just one of three discoveries in the larger Kari area (and lies 7 kilometers west of the processing plant), where a 200,000 meter drilling campaign with a budget of $17 million is now underway mainly focused on the adjacent Kari West and Kari Center discoveries.
Drill results for Kari West and Kari Center are expected to be published in the early third quarter of 2019, with maiden resource and reserve estimates expected in the fourth quarter.
Sébastien de Montessus, the CEO of Endeavour Mining, noted that the firm had "enjoyed a very high conversion rate of resources to reserves."
"Moreover, it demonstrates the value unlocked through exploration as these high-quality ounces were discovered at a cost of less than $13.50/oz of reserve and have the potential to be produced at an All-In Sustaining Cost of below $800/oz," said Montessus. "We therefore look forward to producing from Kari Pump as it is expected to improve the mine’s production profile due to its higher-grades and attractive ore characteristics."
The firm was excited, he added, to soon publish drill results from the ongoing 2019 Houndé exploration program.
Environmental studies on Kari Pump have been launched and an application for a mining license is due to be submitted later in 2019, with the goal of beginning mining activities in late 2020 or early 2021, following the completion of mining at the nearby high-grade Bouere deposit, Endeavour said.
The mining method planned for Kari Pump is conventional open pit, with the run of mine ore hauled for processing to the Houndé CIL plant.
An updated mine plan and technical report are expected to be released following the publication of maiden reserves at the Kari West and Center discoveries.
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