Endeavour Mining has confirmed commercial production at its Agbaou gold mine, in Côte d'Ivoire, after commissioning the processing plant.
The process plant at the mine has achieved about 125% of design throughput and gold recovery crossing 94% over the prior 30 days.
Agbaou is expected to produce between 85,000oz and 95,000oz in its first 12 months of the existing eight-year mine life.
Endeavour has also signed a mining convention with the state of Côte d'Ivoire that includes a strong stability clause outlining fiscal conditions, gold royalty rates and a corporate tax holiday.
The company said the convention will govern important aspects of the relationship between its 85%-owned subsidiary Agbaou Gold Operations and the state.
Endeavour said the negotiated terms were similar to those of other operating gold mines in Côte d'Ivoire and consistent with its expectations when the decision to proceed with construction was taken in June 2012.
The terms include a gold price dependent sliding scale from 3% to 5% for royalties, a corporate tax holiday, which will see the Agbaou mine eligible for five years from the start of commercial gold production and a strong stability clause defining fiscal parameters for the duration of the mining permit.
Endeavour Mining CEO Neil Woodyer said the commercial production at Agbaou marks the completion of an 18-month construction period.
"Endeavour will now benefit from Agbaou's low-cost gold production," Woodyer said. "Agbaou was completed safely, ahead of schedule, and under our $160m capital budget."
Image: Agbaou gold pour. Photo: courtesy of Endeavour Mining.