Endeavour successfully completed two acquisitions within one year. Could you comment on the integration process of the Sabodala-Massawa complex and the expansion work undertaken there?
We have been really pleased with how smoothly and quickly the Teranga assets were integrated into our West African operating platform.
Amongst our portfolio of seven mines across Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal, we believe the Sabodala-Massawa mine in Senegal has the most potential to be a long-life, low cost, top tier asset.
Earlier this year we approved the $20 million Phase 1 expansion, which will optimise the processing of the higher grade Massawa ore more efficiently and increase production by approximately 90,000 oz/y. The expansion is progressing well and is on track for completion in Q4-2021.
We are busy finalising the feasibility study for the Phase 2 expansion which will enable us to process the high-grade refractory ore from the Massawa deposit with the addition of a bio-oxidation plant located adjacent to the current plant. We estimate this will increase production to above 400,000 oz/y.
What is the rationale behind listing on the LSE, alongside the TSX, and what is the significance of this milestone for the company?
Our listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) was a natural next step for Endeavour given the evolution of our business over the past four years and our new size as one of the world’s largest gold producers. We believed there was a gap in the market that Endeavour could fill - with the removal of Randgold, there were limited options on the LSE for investors seeking significant, diversified gold production exposure.
Endeavour has developed a very robust organic project pipeline, with recently advanced PFS releases at both Fetekro and Kalana. Could you elaborate on your near-term exploration strategy?
We have one of the largest and most promising portfolios on the highly prospective and underexplored Birimian Greenstone Belt. This part of West Africa ranks as number one globally for discoveries, with nearly 80 million ounces discovered in 10 years, and a total of 5 billion dollars spent, which accounts for approximately 10% of the global exploration budget. In 2020, this region received more exploration spend than all but Australia, Canada and the US.
Since 2016, we have discovered 8.5 million ounces, at a cost of less than US$25 per ounce, and consolidated our position on two world class belts, the Houndé Belt in Burkina Faso and the Ity Belt in Ivory Coast.
With the new, recently acquired assets in our portfolio, our new 5-year exploration target is to discover 15-20 million ounces of Indicated resources over the next five years at an average cost of less than US$25/oz.
Why do you think it’s important to incorporate ESG measures into management and governance plans? How else is Endeavour driving ESG implementation?
Our integrated ESG strategy is centered around two strategic key pillars: investing in our host countries and protecting the environment. These are supported by high standards of ethics and governance.
On the social side, our priority areas are health, education, access to water and electricity, and economic development, including ECODEV, our impacting investing fund, which invests in industries outside of mining that support the broader national government economic agenda.
We have committed to a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030, as well as an ultimate goal of net zero by 2050, as part of our environmental strategy, which also includes a focus on water stewardship, biodiversity and reducing plastic waste. In June 2021, we launched the Endeavour Foundation, which is our primary vehicle to implement our sustainability projects at the regional and national levels in the countries in which we operate.
Incorporating quantifiable ESG targets into our both the short- and long-term executive compensation schemes reinforces the importance of ESG to our business.
Why do you think gold companies are underrated by the public markets at the moment?
Falling gold prices earlier this summer impacted investor sentiment despite the recent consolidation, as well as the strong dividend payments and increasing ESG commitments we’ve seen in the industry.
We believe key to a re-rating of the sector is attracting generalist investors by focussing on shareholder returns, maintaining strong production levels and cash flow to support these payments, maintaining net cash positions, and mitigating risks well.
Investors today further expect that their investments both generate attractive returns and are sustainable and responsible, therefore showcasing responsible mining and ESG credentials will stay crucial.