Endeavour Mining Pours First Gold at Lafigué Mine in Côte d'Ivoire

Endeavour Mining (TSX, LON: EDV) has successfully poured its first gold at the new Lafigué mine in Côte d'Ivoire, just 21 months after commencing construction. This achievement, realized ahead of schedule and within budget, marks a significant milestone for the company.

Lafigué is Endeavour's fifth project in West Africa and is expected to produce between 90,000 and 110,000 ounces of gold annually in its first year, with an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $900 to $975 per ounce, making it a sector leader in cost efficiency. Gold production is anticipated to increase to approximately 200,000 ounces by 2025.

The mine, discovered for $31 million—equating to a remarkably low discovery cost of $12 per ounce of measured and indicated resources—underscores Endeavour's commitment to cost-effective resource development. "This level of value creation is repeatable in West Africa," said CEO Ian Cockerill, highlighting the company's success and future potential with the Assafou deposit at the Tanda-Iguela property, also in Côte d'Ivoire.

Paul Day, general manager at Lafigué, proudly showcased the first gold bar poured at the mine. This event, coupled with the inaugural gold pour at the Sabodala-Massawa expansion earlier in April, signals the culmination of Endeavour's recent investment and expansion phase, initiated in Q2 2022.

The news comes at a time of mixed fortunes for Endeavour Mining. Earlier this year, former president and CEO Sébastien de Montessus was dismissed for serious misconduct, and the company faced accusations of misrepresentation related to the sale of two gold mines in Burkina Faso. Additionally, a cyanide spill was reported at the Ity gold mine, the company's second-largest operation in southern Côte d'Ivoire.

Despite these challenges, Endeavour's shares rose slightly on the news of the Lafigué gold pour, reflecting investor optimism. Trading at 1,724p on the London Stock Exchange, the company's market capitalization stands at £1.39 billion ($1.76 billion).

With Lafigué ramping up to its nameplate capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum this quarter, Endeavour is set to enter a new phase focused on increasing free cash flow, reducing leverage, and enhancing shareholder returns. The successful development of Lafigué exemplifies Endeavour's strategic growth and operational excellence in West Africa's mining sector.