Golden Star emerges from “transformational year” with focus on extending Wassa

Wassa mine

GOLDEN Star reported adjusted net income attributable to shareholders of $44.6m for the 12 months ended December from $17.5m in the previous year owing to a higher gold price and a 7% improvement in all-in sustaining costs (AISC).

It reported gold production of just below 41,000 ounces from its Wassa mine in Ghana in the fourth quarter, taking full year production to 167,600 oz – 7% higher than guidance for the period. Guidance has been set at 165,000 to 175,000 oz with costs expected to “remain in line with recent performance”, the company said. AISC at Wassa for the 2020 financial year were $1,003/oz.

The mine benefited from a one quarter improvement in the realised gold price which came in at $1,626/oz compared to $1,302/oz.

Golden Star hedges a portion of its gold in terms of refinancing debt with Macquarie Bank such that approximately 87,000 oz is hedged over the next 2021 and 2022 financial years with a floor price of $1,600/oz and a ceiling price of $2,176/oz in 2021, and a ceiling price of $2,188/oz in 2022.

Andrew Wray, CEO of Golden Star, said the company had gone through a transformational year in 2020 in which it moved its head office to London from Toronto, installed new management, refinanced its balance sheet, and sold Prestea, a loss-making mine.

The company ended the period with some $60.8m in cash. As of December 31, the company has net debt of $44.9m – an improvement of $8.5m during the 2020 financial year as a result of the $7.4m increase in the cash position.

Now having freed itself of its cash-draining Prestea, the company was focusing on organic growth options.

It has set aside $15m for exploration, but the short-term focus was on the presentation of a preliminary economic assessment on the southern extension of Wassa which is due in March.

Golden Star has also budgeted capital programmes at Wassa of $45m to $50m this year which is in line with the $45.2m invested in the mine during 2020, focusing on “… major infrastructure projects”.