Perseus Mining has realized its first gold pour at its Sissingué operation in Ivory Coast, one month ahead of schedule.
A statement by the company said on Monday the ramp-up to full-scale commercial production at Sissingué was progressing as planned and that it was expected to be achieved on or before March 31.
“Current estimates show this budget will not be exceeded,” Perseus said in the statement.
The estimated capital cost of the full development of the mine and infrastructure, excluding early works but including operations readiness initiatives, amounted to $107-million.
In reaching the key milestone of a first gold pour, around 2.3-million person-hours were expended and in that time only one lost-time injury was recorded on the site.
As part of the implementation of its operations readiness plan for Sissingué, Perseus has recruited an experienced operating team under the leadership of General Manager Merlin Thomas.
The team has implemented necessary operating systems and has been progressively assuming responsibility for the mine and infrastructure as commissioning of each element has been completed and handed over by the construction team.
This handover will be finalized during the March quarter. At that point, Perseus will be transformed from a single mine, single country business to a multi-mine, multi-jurisdiction operation and will be well on the way to achieving its goal of producing about 500 000 oz/y of gold from its three West African operations, namely Edikan, Sissingué, and Yaouré.
“The pouring of first gold at Sissingué is an important milestone for Perseus on several levels. Apart from the fact that our second producing mine, and our first mine in Côte d’Ivoire, is now operational ahead of schedule and on budget, the achievement of this milestone provides Perseus with a second cash flow stream and reduces the company’s reliance for income on our first mine, Edikan in Ghana,” said Jeff Quartermaine, MD and CEO.