Perseus getting set for third gold mine development

PERSEUS Mining aims to have the permitting and financing in place for its planned third operation in West Africa, Yaoure, by the end of 2018.
Perseus getting set for third gold mine development Perseus getting set for third gold mine development Perseus getting set for third gold mine development Perseus getting set for third gold mine development Perseus getting set for third gold mine development

Perseus' Edikan operation in Ghana.

The company has been using advisers Gresham to go through its funding options, with a mix of alternatives the likely scenario.

Speaking from Zurich where he is presenting at a gold forum on his way back to Australia following two weeks in West Africa, Perseus managing director Jeff Quartermaine cautioned that the timing could stretch out a bit given debt funding often takes longer than is expected.

On the other hand he said he would be surprised if Perseus didn't get the exploitation permit (for Yaoure), "issued fairly short" from Cote d'Ivoire authorities, with both the company and country said to be keen to get the show on the road.

As presently conceived, Yaoure will take Perseus' annual production profile to around 500,000oz.

Meanwhile Perseus has continued its good operational run over the past year or so after producing 64,027 ounces in the March quarter, up 13% up on the December quarter and 32% on the previous corresponding period.

The quarter was highlighted by the emergence of the Sissingue operation in Cote d'Ivoire as Perseus' second operation in West Africa, with the new mine producing 9405oz in the March period ahead of commercial production being declared on April 1.

Perseus' flagship operation, Edikan in Ghana produced 54,622oz at all-in sustaining costs of US$1104/oz, in line with the previous two quarters.

While there were one or two queries in relation to grade Quartermaine said the operation was tracking well and the company was very confident of its future.

However he conceded the large low grade operation that sources ore from multiple pits had it challenges.

"We're not shying away from that," Quartermaine said.

Including Sissingue, Perseus' guidance for the current half year remains 140,000-160,000oz at an AISC of $950-1050 per ounce.

At 31 March 2018, Perseus's working capital totalled A$40 million, 83% more than at 31 December 2017 and included available cash and bullion of $59.5 million, up 31% on the amount three months previous.

The company had drawn debt of US$65 million.

Shares in Perseus closed unchanged at A49c, capitalising the company at $507 million.