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HomeNewsEndeavour looks forward to further production growth, following a strong 2023 performance

Endeavour looks forward to further production growth, following a strong 2023 performance

Africa-focused gold miner Endeavour Mining achieved record production at its Ity and Houndé mines, in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, respectively, for the year ended December 31, with production from the mines having exceeded 300 000 oz each.

The company says it is well positioned for growth in the new year as its Sabodala-Massawa mine, in Senegal, is poised to produce up to 400 000 oz this year, owing to an expansion project.

Both the Sabodala-Massawa expansion and Lafigué projects will deliver first production in the second quarter of this year. The Lafigué project, in Côte d’Ivoire, should add up to 110 000 oz to the group’s production in 2024.

Endeavour also has an attractive longer-term organic growth pipeline, following the delineation of a 4.5-million-ounce indicated resource at the Tanda-Iguela greenfield property, in Côte d’Ivoire. This represents one of the most significant discoveries in West Africa over the last decade.

The company has started with a preliminary feasibility study on the project, which should be finalised by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Endeavour returned $200-million in dividends in the reporting year, which should increase further once its growth projects are complete. Notably, the dividend is 14% above the minimum committed dividend of the company.

Coupled with $66-million worth of shares repurchased in the year, Endeavour returned $266-million to shareholders in 2023.

Since Endeavour began a shareholder returns programme in 2021, it has returned more than $900-million to shareholders, representing 77% more than the minimum commitment for the period.

Looking ahead, the company aims to increase returns further once the two ongoing organic growth projects are complete.

The group produced 1.1-million ounces across all operations in 2023, at an average all-in sustaining cost of $964/oz, which is well within guidance.

Endeavour has achieved 11 consecutive years of achieving or exceeding its production guidance. The company has again increased its envisaged production by 18% in the new year to between 1.13-million and 1.27-million ounces.

In the year under review, the Houndé mine grew production from 295 000 oz in 2022 to 312 000 oz in 2023, while the Ity mine’s output increased from 313 000 oz in 2022 to 324 000 oz in 2023.

A strong financial position of $757-million of available liquidity, comprising $517-million in cash and the balance in undrawn credit facilities, puts the company in good stead for more development investments.

The group’s net debt was $555-million as of December 31.

Endeavour has earmarked $245-million in growth capital spend for the new year, comprising $75-million for the Sabodala-Massawa expansion project and about $170-million of remaining growth capital for the Lafigué project.

Exploration will continue to be a strong focus in the 2024 financial year, with a companywide exploration budget of $65-million having been set. Of this, $15-million of spend will be dedicated to the Tanda-Iguela property.

For context, construction started on the Lafigué project in the fourth quarter of 2022, while the Sabodala-Massawa expansion project was launched in the second quarter of 2022.

CEO Ian Cockerill comments that strong foundations are in place to unlock more value for shareholders, as the company delivers on its organic growth pipeline. He regards 2023 as another successful year for the company in which it continued to focus on improving the quality of its portfolio through asset optimisation, exploration success and divestment of the noncore Boungou and Wahgnion mines.