Perseus in sight of 500,000 oz gold confirming status as West African mid-tier firm

Jeff Quatermaine, MD, Perseus Mining

GOLD production of 500,000 ounces was in the sights of Perseus Mining, the Australian miner which today reported robust second quarter and half year numbers.

Production of 230,000 to 265,000 oz was planned for January to June which would translate into 471,000 to 506,000 oz for the financial year. The gold would be produced at an all in sustaining cost of between $932 to $1,020/oz, the company said.

Perseus MD and CEO Jeff Quartermaine has commented in the past that the 500,000 oz target is meaningless in itself unless profitable. Nonetheless, it’s often viewed as a indication of a company attaining mid-tier status.

As of December 31, Perseus reported net cash of $162m after paying $13m to shareholders and reducing debt $50m. A further $11m was invested in organic growth. The company had total debt of $50m left on the balance sheet.

In a promising sign for investors betting on further returns, the company increased second quarter gold sales 21% resulting in year on year gold sales of 432,250 oz. It reported an average cash margin of $735/oz which was $46/oz more than in the previous quarter. Notional cashflow from operations increased by 21% quarter-on-quarter to $94m and 84% year-on-year to $275.1m.

The company, which operates the Edikan mine in Ghana along with the Sissingué and Yaoure mines in Côte d’Ivoire, declared a maiden dividend of 1.5 Australian cents in August. This represented a 1% yield.