Endeavour Mining has announced that mining operations were expected to recommence at its Boungou mine in Burkina Faso in the coming weeks, following the mobilization of a West African mining contractor and completion of infrastructure and operating improvements.
Endeavour Mining is a multi-asset gold producer focused on West Africa, with two mines (Ity and Agbaou) in Côte d’Ivoire, four mines (Houndé, Mana, Karma and Boungou) in Burkina Faso, four potential development projects (Fetekro, Kalana, Bantou and Nabanga) and a strong portfolio of exploration assets on the highly prospective Birimian Greenstone Belt across Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Guinea.
The Boungou mine has been processing stockpiles since early 2020 while the operation was being prepared for the restart of mining activities. A resumption of mining will provide higher grade mill feed which will contribute to increased production.
Given the expected restart of mining operations in the coming weeks, the Boungou mine is now expected to achieve the top half of its 2020 production guidance of 130-150koz at an AISC of $680-725/oz.
Sébastien de Montessus, CEO of Endeavour, said: “We are pleased to have made significant progress at Boungou, including the completion of key site infrastructure upgrades, development of a comprehensive security plan and mobilization of a local mining contractor. We are confident that with the steps taken we will be able to restart mining operations in the coming weeks, which will position us to meet the top half of our full year guidance for the operation. We are also excited that we will soon recommence near-mine exploration at Boungou as we believe that the area is highly prospective and we are confident that we will be able to extend the mine life.”
The Boungou mine has been successfully integrated within Endeavour’s well established West African operating platform following the change in ownership on 1 July 2020. A range of improvements and new procedures have been implemented for the restart program, including the following:
- Endeavour appointed a West African General Manager and transitioned employees from its other sites in order to leverage Endeavour’s operating model and accelerate Boungou’s integration and restart plan.
- Endeavour has selected SFTP Mining BF S.A.R.L. (“SFTP”) as Boungou’s mining contractor, who are currently mobilizing equipment to site. SFTP also provides contract mining services at Endeavour’s Karma mine and is a West African mining services business which operates in a manner consistent with Endeavour’s ESG operating philosophy and industry best practice standards.
- Endeavour, in close partnership with the Burkinabe government, has implemented a comprehensive security plan which is consistent with its approach at its other operations and takes into account the unique conditions in eastern Burkina Faso. Improvements include upgraded site infrastructure, detailed site security plans, and an improved approach to the movement of employees, supplies and material. Endeavour has completed the construction of an on-site airstrip and as part of its re-start plan intends to fly staff from Ouaga and Fada to site. Endeavour has also built on-site employee housing which will allow both local and expatriate employees to remain within the site security perimeter.
- In addition, the Burkinabe government has developed its own plans to improve security in the region. Endeavour will support these efforts, which will include road maintenance.
- In line with Endeavour’s commitment to improve the lives of its employees and the communities near its operations, Endeavour is committed to delivering several key community projects in the Boungou region. These projects include support for the construction of a market, provision of new emergency vehicles, water boreholes, road maintenance, and other key infrastructure support. In addition, as part of the mining contract agreement, SFTP has also made commitments towards ensuring participation of local people in the workforce, creating joint ventures with local businesses, providing water boreholes, medical support and facilities, and enhancing gender diversity.