Production of Endeavour’s Ity Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire remained consistent in Q4-2021 with the prior quarter as higher mill throughput was offset by lower recovery rates, while grades processed remained flat.
Tonnes of ore mined increased due to lower strip ratios at the Daapleu, Walter and Colline Sud pits as well as increased mining at the Ity, Le Plaque pits and the Heap Dump. Tonnes milled increased due to the processing of supplemental oxide ore through the surge bin, despite the milling of a higher proportion of the high grade fresh ore from the Daapleu pit. Recovery rates decreased due to the lower recovery rates associated with the higher grade fresh ore from the Daapleu pit.
AISC per ounce decreased due to a lower strip ratio, lower unit mining cost as a result of decreased drill and blast cost, and lower unit processing cost on account of increased power supply from the national grid.
Sustaining capital expenditure of $6.1 million increased compared to $5.5m incurred in Q3-2021 and related primarily to waste stripping at the Ity, Bakatouo and Walter pits as well as dewatering equipment and borehole drilling, pit slope monitoring equipment and various other capital replacements.
Non-sustaining capital expenditure of $10.9 million is an increase compared to the $3.9 million in Q3-2021 and included the ongoing construction of the pre-leach and tank spargers, Le Plaque haul road and waste dump sterilisation drilling, TSF wall buttressing and TSF cell 2 sterilisation drilling.
During Q2-2021, Ity transitioned from owner mining to contract mining with Societe de Forage et des Travaux Publics (SFTP), a local contractor who is already performing contract mining services at our Karma and Boungou mines. As a part of the transition, the mining fleet at Ity was sold to SFTP for a consideration of approximately $24.2 million, $14.1 million of which was received during Q4-2021 with the balance expected in early 2022.
FY-2021 production totalled 272koz which was above the guided 230-250koz range driven by a combination of higher throughput and grade. AISC of $836/oz was in line with the guided of $800-850/oz range.
Production increased significantly compared to FY-2020 as a result of an increase in throughput due to improvements in plant operating and maintenance strategies and continued use of the surge bin providing supplemental oxide ore to the plant. AISC increased compared to FY-2020 due to less ore stockpiling and increased sustaining capital that mainly related to waste stripping at the Ity, Bakatouo, Walter and Colline Sud pits.
Ity is expected to produce between 255—270koz in 2022 at an AISC of between $850—900/oz.
Ore will be mined from Le Plaque, Daapleu, Ity, Bakatouo, Walter, and Colline Sud pits and supplemented by historical ore sources including Verse Ouest stockpile and the spent Heap 2 dump. In H1-2022, mining at the current phase of Daapleu is expected to be completed, with increased contributions expected from Le Plaque and higher grade ore coming from the Walter pit in H2-2022.
Ore tonnes processed are expected to remain fairly constant throughout the year, however grades are expected to decline in H2-2022 as feed material moves away from Daapleu. The decline in grade is expected to be partially offset by increased recoveries associated with increased oxide ore sourced from Le Plaque and from the addition of the pre-leach tank. Average processed grade for the year is expected to be consistent with FY-2021.
Sustaining capital is expected to amount to $20.0 million in FY-2022 compared to $24.0 million in FY-2021. The FY-2022 sustaining capital relates mainly to capitalised waste.
Non-sustaining capital is expected to decrease from $35.3 million in FY-2021 to approximately $29.0 million in FY-2022, with non-sustaining capital in FY-2022 relating to processing plant enhancements, land compensation, and the stage 4 TSF raise.