Endeavour Mining (TSX, LON: EDV) said Friday it had sold its 90% interest in the Boungou and Wahgnion gold mines in Burkina Faso for about $300 million, as part of its strategy to focus on higher quality assets.
The buyer, Lilium Capital’s subsidiary Lilium Mining, is an African and frontier markets focused investment vehicle led by West African entrepreneurs, the company said.
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The total consideration for the mines, deemed non-core to Endeavour, comprises of upfront and deferred cash instalments. Endeavour will also earn a 4% net smelter return royalties (NSR) of gold sold at both mines, with Bougnou expected to generate $52 million over its productive life and Wahgnion $41 million, it said.
As a result of the sale, the bullion miner expects full-year gold production guidance to fall to between 1.06 and 1.135 million ounces from a previous outlook of 1.325-1.425 million ounces. All-in sustaining costs have also been adjusted and are seen improving by $45 per ounce to $895-$950 per ounce.
The move helps Endeavour reduce its exposure to conflict-ridden Burkina Faso, as a planned expansion at its Sabodala-Massawa mine complex in Senegal, and a project in Cote d’Ivoire enter production.
Endeavour’s mines in the country have been subject to a number of terrorist attacks over the past three years.
Conflict has reduced gold production in Burkina and made it more difficult – and costly – for miners to transport staff and supplies to and from its operations. The West Africa-focused bullion producer is keeping its Houndé mine in Burkina, as the operation is one of its cornerstone assets.
Endeavour intends to sustain production at Houndé, which open in 2017, above 250,000 ounces per year over a +10-year life.
The company announced in November a major greenfield gold discovery in Côte d’Ivoire, which it said has the potential to become one of its flagship assets.
Endeavour made a takeover approach to rival Kinross Gold (TSX:K) in recent months that was rebuffed by the Canadian company.