PERSEUS Mining produced strong interim results taking net profit after tax up by $20m to $30.4m, equal to 2.6 cents per share.
The year-on-year improvement was built on impressive cost performances as its Sissingué operation in Côte d’Ivoire and a decline in costs at Edikan in Ghana following the start of a revised mining strategy aimed at improving cash flow.
Production for the period came in at 134,980 oz, a 4% decline year-on-year as a result of the new mine plan at Edikan. Weighted average all-in sustaining costs (AISC) fell 6% at some $942/oz compared to the six months ended December 2018.
Quartermaine, MD of Perseus Mining, said the company had conducted “a major turnaround” and was likely to produce its first gold from its next development – the Yaouré mine also in Côte d’Ivoire – in December 2020.
Excluding $47.4m of bullion on hand, Perseus reported a cash balance as of December 31 of $67.5m – a slight increase on December 2018 despite having spent $99m on Yaouré which is now 33% complete.
“Our strong cashflows have largely been driven by unit cost reductions and of course an improvement in the price of gold,” said Quartermaine.
When Yaouré is operating, Perseus will produce 500,000 ounces a year of gold. The project is scoped for an initial 8.5 years of production, but Quartermaine said previously that production could be extended well beyond that. The “very considerable mineral potential of the tenements” was being “progressively unlocked”, he said.