Endeavour Mining has commenced wet commissioning at the Lafigué gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, with the first gold pour anticipated late next month.

The wet commissioning process includes the crushing, milling, and carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuits at the Lafigué processing plant.

This project is located in the north-east part of the Fetekro exploration permit, adjacent to existing infrastructure.

Construction on the project is nearing completion, with 94% of the work already done. The first ore was introduced to the crushing and milling circuits on 24 May.

The ore stockpiles are currently at 1.6 million tonnes (mt) with an average gold grade of 1.30g/t, containing around 65koz of gold.

The initial growth capital expenditure for the Lafigué project stands at $448m, with $434.9m, or 97%, already committed.

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For the financial year 2024, the expected production is between 90koz and 110koz at an AISC of $900/oz-$975/oz.

Endeavour Mining CEO Ian Cockerill said: “Lafigué is set to become another cornerstone asset in Endeavour’s portfolio; with over 200koz of annual production at an all-in sustaining cost below $900/oz over its initial 13-year mine life.

“The project was discovered through our own ambitious exploration programme for a cost of $31m, equivalent to an industry-low discovery cost of just $12 per indicated resource ounce.

“Given its potential, we expedited the necessary technical studies before launching construction in Q4 2022 and we have now started wet commissioning at the project in only 21 months from construction launch, and we continue to track ahead of schedule for first gold in late June.”

The project is expected to have an average production of 203,000oz of gold per year and more than 12.8 years of mine life.