TSX-listed Endeavour Mining has raised its ownership stake in the Ity gold mine in the Ivory Coast from 80% to 85%.

Endeavour granted DYD International Holding just over one million common shares amounting to $15m based on the signing reference share price of C$18.50, in exchange for the additional 5% interest in the Ity mine.

DYD International is a company owned by retired football player Didier Drogba.

The deal was signed on 21 December 2018 and closed on 10 January 2019.

After the transaction, Endeavour owns 85% of the Ity mine, with the Government of the Ivory Coast owning 10% and SODEMI,  a government-owned mining company holding the remaining 5% stake.

Endeavour Mining is an intermediate African gold producer with development and exploration in the prospective Birimian greenstone belt in West Africa.

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It operates four mines across the Ivory Coast (Agbaou and Ity) and Burkina Faso (Houndé, Karma), which were expected to produce 555-590koz in 2018 at an AISC of $760-810/oz.

In December 2018, Endeavour completed the divestment of its interest in the non-core Tabakoto mine to Algom Resources, a subsidiary of BCM International.

The deal was announced on 4 September 2018.

As per the terms of the transaction, Endeavour had retained its greenfield exploration tenements located over 20km north of the Tabakoto processing plant, on trend with Randgold’s Loulo mine.

“After the transaction, Endeavour owns 85% of the Ity mine.”

These associate to a part of the Kofi tenement and the Netekoto tenement.

After further negotiations, Endeavour and BCM agreed to change the Tabakoto sale terms. The total sale price was raised up to around $70m as against the earlier disclosed $60m upfront cash consideration.

The total revised amount consisted of an upfront cash consideration of $35m, a deferred cash consideration of $10m in 2019, subject to meeting of some conditions, and a 10% net smelter royalty on the Dar Salaam deposit, with limit at a maximum of 200,000 ounces of gold.