Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) (TSE:PRU) (OTCMKTS:PMNXF) has several exciting exploration programs planned to roll out across its West African properties, most notably at Yaouré, as it looks to deliver material organic growth at each of its three operating sites. 

Looking ahead to 2021, commissioning and ramp-up of production at Yaouré is a major objective for the coming months.

“Exciting time in company’s growth”

Perseus Mining managing director and CEO Jeff Quartermaine said at this week’s AGM: “ … and we are also looking forward to publishing the feasibility study for the development of a series of deposits located on the recently acquired Exore ground, resulting in an extension of the life of the very successful Sissingué operation.

“We also expect to further optimise production at Edikan and Sissingué with continuous improvement initiatives aimed at increasing gold production and reducing our AISC (all-in-sustaining costs).

“Despite the challenges of the past year and the uncertainty ahead of us, it is an exciting time in our company’s growth, and I look forward to achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves in the year to come.”

Emerged from COVID crisis stronger

Quartermaine said Perseus had emerged from the COVID crisis relatively unscathed and if anything, had emerged stronger, as it continued on its path to achieve its target of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold per year at a cash margin of not less than US$400 per ounce.

While the global uncertainty related to COVID-19 had made it impossible at times to guarantee ongoing strong performance, the company had been reasonably successful.

First gold at Yaouré

Development of its third gold mine, Yaouré, is now well advanced and it expects to pour first gold at the mine within weeks, inside its stretch target of pouring first gold by the end of this year.

When fully operational, Yaouré is expected to produce on average about 215,000 ounces of gold annually in its first five years of operation at an all-in site cost of $750 per ounce or so, and have a mine life of eight years or more, based on the current ore reserve inventory.

Extending life of Sissingué operations

The company acquired Exore Resources Limited, an exploration company which owns 2,000 square kilometres of very prospective land adjacent to Sissingué in September in a bid to extend the life of its Sissingué operations.

Exploration success on this ground would offer either truck material to Sissingué, or the option to develop the deposit into a standalone mining operation using infrastructure from Sissingué.

Results of resource definition drilling to date at three deposits on the tenements are encouraging and it expects to announce an updated mineral resource in the new year and release the results of a feasibility study on developing the resources, by the end of the first quarter in 2021.

Esuajah South underground potential

At Edikan, the company is working its way through the tender offers for underground mining services at the Esuajah South deposit, which has a measured and indicated resource of more than 500,000 ounces of gold.

It received government approvals in the June quarter for development of the decline and establishment of ore drives on the first three sub-levels of the ore body, which allows the company to better assess the deposit before proceeding to full-scale development.

Quartermaine added: “If the concept can be proven to be economically viable, this will be an exciting step for us as a company as it would Perseus’s first underground development, although many of our people are individually, very experienced underground miners.

“Understandably, given our lack of corporate experience as underground miners, we’re moving forward cautiously with the exercise, but we look forward to bringing news of this potential opportunity in the new year.”

Share price reflecting company’s endeavours

He said: “Our share price is starting to reflect the results of these endeavours, but in our view still has some way to go before it truly reflects the value of your company.”