Exploration and resource estimation activities were prioritised at the flagship mines and Fetekro for incorporation into the upcoming definitive feasibility study (“DFS”), which is due to be completed this quarter. Resource updates for all the other assets will be included in the annual year-end reserve and resource update, which is expected to be published along with the FY-2021 financial results in March 2022.
The strong results from the 2021 exploration programme have positioned Endeavour well to achieve its 5-year (2021-2025) discovery target of 15 to 20 million ounces of Indicated resources at a discovery cost of less than $25 per ounce, as previously announced on 30 September 2021.
Sebastien de Montessus, President and CEO, said: “The significant discoveries we have made showcase the strong exploration potential within our portfolio and continue to confirm West Africa as one of the world’s top regions for gold discoveries. Our exploration programme continues to add significant value to the business, creating the potential to extend mine lives to well beyond 10 years while feeding our development pipeline. We are particularly pleased with the significant discoveries made at our flagship mines, Ity, Houndé and Sabodala-Massawa.
At our Ity mine, we have added over 1 million ounces of resources which is an extraordinary achievement. The West Flotouo deposit represents a significant discovery given its rich grades above 2 g/t Au, its size, and its location in close proximity to the plant. We will therefore aim to integrate the deposit within the mine plan as soon as possible. Looking ahead, work is continuing to convert the significant Inferred resources into Indicated status and to pursue our aggressive exploration programme.
At our Houndé mine, after locking-in more than 10 years of strong production visibility through the recent discoveries of Kari Pump and Kari Center, we are very pleased to have made yet another significant discovery with the Mambo deposit and expect to be quickly integrate the higher-grade southern extension into the mine plan. Given the significant resources defined over recent years and its current long mine life, we will study the potential to bring forward production.
At our Sabadola-Massawa mine, which was acquired last year, we are pleased to have quickly increased the M&I resource base by 10% with the addition of more than 600,000 ounces. We are very excited to pursue our drilling campaign into 2022 as we continue to see potential to add resources, both by extending known deposits and initiating exploration on several identified targets.
At our Fetekro property, our continued exploration success at the Lafigué deposit, which now hosts approximately 3 million ounces of resources, means that it can be considered an anchor deposit capable of supporting an Endeavour-sized project. Given today’s increase in Indicated resources to approximately 3 million ounces and the strong additional exploration potential, we have decided to increase the envisaged nameplate throughput capacity of the plant by 33% to 4Mtpa and look forward to publishing the results of the DFS later this quarter.
Given the exploration potential across our portfolio, we will continue to invest in exploration to further unlock value. I would like to congratulate our exploration team for achieving their best annual performance which positions us well to discover our 5-year target of 15-20 million ounces.”
Patrick Bouisset, Executive Vice President Exploration and Growth said: “The success of our 2021 exploration programme marks the completion of our first 5-Year exploration target, set in 2016. The immense effort and dedication from my team over the last 5 years has delivered over 10Moz of Indicated resource discoveries across our legacy portfolio, at a discovery cost below $25 per ounce, thereby achieving our ambitious target.
We are particularly proud to have significantly extended the lives of our Houndé and Ity mines, raising their status to flagship assets, as well as the discovery of the Lafigué deposit on the Fetekro property which is now an Endeavour size project.
Looking ahead, we believe that we have a strategic foothold in West Africa, which has grown into a leading global gold producing region, as we control some of the most prospective grounds and have a highly experienced team with a proven exploration methodology. We are excited to now focus on delivering our new 5-year discovery target, which represents replacing twice the mine depletion over the period.”