Perseus Building Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire

Perseus Mining is proceeding with construction of open-pit mining operations at its Yaouré gold project in central Côte d’Ivoire. The project is planned to produce an average of 215,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold for the first five years, with average all-in site costs of $734/oz. Capital costs to develop the project are estimated at $265 million.

Probable ore reserves at Yaouré are estimated at 26.8 million metric tons (mt) grading 1.76 grams/mt gold and containing 1.52 million oz of gold. Perseus is planning an extensive exploration program to add to Yaouré’s currently defined nine-year mine life. Perseus has also prepared a scoping study for a potential underground mining operation at Yaouré. Further resource drilling and technical studies are required to enable definition of underground ore reserves.

The company’s decision to proceed with construction for open-pit mining opened the way for execution of engineering and supply contracts between Perseus and Lycopodium. Perseus has collaborated with Lycopodium in the past, most notably on the development of the company’s Sissingué gold mine, also in Côte d’Ivoire, which was commissioned in early 2018. A “Notice of Award” for the engineering and supply contracts was issued to Lycopodium on January 10, 2019, and since that time, Lycopodium and Perseus’s in-house development team, acting in anticipation of an imminent positive development decision, have worked toward commencement of full-scale development.

Detailed engineering has progressed, and supply contracts, including a contract with Outotec for manufacture and supply of the SAG and ball mills, have been conditionally awarded to suppliers of a large proportion of the plant and equipment required for the processing facility. These orders will be confirmed, fixing approximately 50% of the capital budget and enabling development to proceed on schedule.

Plant throughput at Yaouré is planned at 3.3 million mt/y. Under the terms of the Lycopodium contract, first gold is due to be poured by January 23, 2021, although a “stretch target” involving an earlier gold pour in December 2020 is being pursued.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 06 -