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AMN - COTE D’IVOIRE: Permit granted for third Perseus mine

Perseus Mining Limited's Ivorian subsidiary Perseus Yaouré SARL has been granted an Exploitation Permit (EP) by the government of Côte d’Ivoire to develop and operate the company’s third gold mine, the Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company’s board has subsequently formally approved construction of the mine

Located near the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro adjacent to the Koussou hydro-electric power station, the Yaouré Gold Mine with a forecast capital cost of US$265 million is expected to become a large-scale, low-cost gold mining operation that will form a core asset within Perseus’ asset portfolio for many years to come.

Receipt of the EP is the final permit that Perseus requires to start developing the Yaouré mine and follows Perseus’ recent announcements that it has accepted an offer of debt financing from a syndicate of international banks and confirmed its financing plans for the mine development.

Perseus’ chief executive officer and managing director Jeff Quartermaine said: “The granting of the Exploitation Permit to enable development of the Yaouré Gold Mine is a major milestone for Perseus that firmly places us on the path to achieving our stated goal of producing more than 500,000 ounces of gold at an all-in cost of less than US$850 per ounce from multiple mines in several jurisdictions in West Africa.

"When developed, Yaouré is expected to be a large-scale, low cost mining operation capable of generating substantial benefits for all of Perseus’ stakeholders, including not only our shareholders who have been keenly awaiting this milestone, but also our host government and local communities, employees and providers of a range of goods and services.

"On behalf of the Board and the entire team at Perseus, I thank the government of Côte d’Ivoire for granting us the exploitation licence and in doing so, recognising Perseus’ credentials as a capable, reliable and responsible participant in the Ivorian gold mining industry.”

The board’s decision follows confirmation of Perseus’ development funding plan that includes deploying, in part, a US$150 million revolving credit facility, US$121 million of existing cash and bullion including US$40 million of cash recently derived from the underwritten exercise of warrants, and strong future cashflows from Perseus’ operating Edikan and Sissingué gold mines.

This decision will take immediate effect, opening the way for the execution of the engineering and supply contracts between Perseus and the well-credentialled engineering company, Lycopodium Limited.

Perseus has collaborated successfully with Lycopodium in the past, most notably on the ahead-of-time, on-budget development of Perseus’ Sissingué Gold Mine, also in Côte d’Ivoire, that was commissioned in early 2018.

Quartermaine said: “When Perseus acquired Amara Mining plc in April 2016, our primary objective was to bring Yaouré into production as soon as practical.

“A large amount of effort has gone into preparation and planning of the development of Yaouré and with the experience that our team developed from the successful execution of the Sissingué mine development plan, we are confident that Yaouré will also be developed on time and on budget and in the process further establish Perseus’ reputation as a reliable and capable developer and operator of gold mines in West Africa.”