Perseus 'off to a flyer'

PERSEUS Mining has reported another consistent quarter of production and it started off the new year strongly.
Perseus 'off to a flyer' Perseus 'off to a flyer' Perseus 'off to a flyer' Perseus 'off to a flyer' Perseus 'off to a flyer'

Jeff Quartermaine

Quarterly gold production from Edikan in Ghana and Sissingue in Côte d'Ivoire was 68,078 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of US$1052 an ounce, at the mid-point of guidance.

Perseus managing director and CEO Jeff Quartermaine described the result as "fairly strong".

"It clearly demonstrates Perseus is living up to its promise of doing what we say we're going to do," he said on a conference call.

Quartermaine said it was particularly pleasing giving the severe wet season in West Africa.

December half-year production was 140,555oz at AISC of $999/oz, at the mid-point of the guidance range.

Quartermaine said the company's performance was comparable with some of its more "fancy peers".

He said even the most cynical observer should be able to recognise Perseus' consistency over the past eight quarters.

"Importantly, we have the ability to deal with surprises," he said.

Looking ahead, Quartermaine said the company had made a strong start to the year.

"As far as the March quarter is concerned, we're off to a flyer," he said.

Perseus is progressing its Yaoure project in Côte d'Ivoire and is hoping to be granted the exploitation permit this quarter.

Quartermaine admitted if the company didn't start construction by early April, the target of pouring first gold in December 2020 would be threatened.

Perseus has selected a banking syndicate to provide up to $200 million in debt for the $265 million development.

Quartermaine said it would be a "plain vanilla debt facility" with some hedging requirements.

Perseus closed the December quarter with A$92 million in cash and bullion and US$48.5 million in debt.

Notional cashflow from operations for the quarter was $18.8 million.

Yesterday Canaccord Genuity named Perseus as a top pick in the gold space, saying it had the "best production growth outlook of our ASX gold coverage with the Yaoure development in Côte d'Ivoire".

Canaccord has a buy rating on Perseus and a price target of 80c, up from 75c.

Shares in Perseus dropped 1.3% to 38.5c. The stock has traded in a range of 32.7-51c over the past year.