Production at Endeavour’s Boungou Gold Mine, Burkina Faso decreased Q4-2021 vs Q3-2021 due to a lower mined and processed grade while throughput and recovery rate remained fairly flat. Total ore tonnes mined decreased due to a focus on the planned pre-stripping activities at the East Pit in order to open up access to ore in 2022.
Tonnes milled remained at high level due to enhancements made to the SAG mill, pebble crusher and the vertical tower mill earlier in the year. Processed grade decreased in line with the mining sequence as a result of mining in low grade areas of the West Pit.
AISC increased due to lower ounces sold which was partially offset by lower sustaining capital and lower operating costs.
Sustaining capital expenditure of $1.6 million was lower than the $3.4m incurred in Q3-2021 and mainly related to the third TSF wall raise and capital spares and equipment for the processing plant. Non-sustaining capital expenditure of $9.0 million related to pre-stripping at the East pit, an increase compared to the $5.4m incurred in Q3-2021 which also related to pre-stripping at the East pit.
FY-2021 production of 174koz was slightly below the guided 180-200koz range as a result of lower processed grades. AISC of $801/oz was in line with the outlook provided in Q3-2021, which stated that AISC is expected to continue to trend above the guided $690 – 740/oz range as a result of higher fuel prices and increased security costs.
FY-2021 production was significantly above FY-2020 due to the benefit of consolidating a full year of operations and the restart of mining at Boungou in Q4-2020. AISC of $801/oz was higher than FY-2020, as the prior year period benefitted from the processing of higher grade stockpiled ore after the re-start of mining operations.
Boungou is expected to produce between 130—140koz in FY-2022 at an AISC of between $900—1,000/oz. Mining activities in H1-2022 will focus on waste stripping and ore extraction from the East pit in addition to waste stripping in Phase 3 of the West pit. In H2-2022, stripping activities will continue in both pits, while ore will be sourced mainly from the West pit.
Due to the flat dipping nature of the orebody, progressive backfilling activity will be undertaken in mined out areas of the pit which is expected to benefit mining costs and ultimately rehabilitation costs. Mill throughput is expected to remain broadly consistent with the FY-2021 performance while grades are expected to decline in line with the life of mine schedule.
Sustaining capital expenditure is expected to decrease from approximately $18.1 million in 2021 to $15.0 million in FY-2022 mainly due to the conclusion of Phase 2 waste stripping at the West pit in FY-2022.
Non-sustaining capital expenditure is expected to decrease to approximately $19.0 million in FY-2022 compared to $22.9 million in FY-2021, with FY-2022 spend primarily relating to a significant cut back at the East pit.