Perseus returns staff to Sudan but defers investment decision “for forseeable future”

PERSEUS Mining has deferred an investment decision on its Meyas Sand Gold Project in Sudan following the outbreak of hostilities in the North African country.

Announcing today it would return some employees to the Meyas Sand exploration site, Perseus said plans to make an investment decision in the second half of the year on the project “has been deferred for the foreseeable future”.

Perseus took control of Meyas Sand in February after buying the shares of Toronto-listed Orca Mining for A$230m. The project’s Block 14 is scoped to produce 228,000 ounces of gold a year for the first seven years of a 13.5 life of mine.

In April however armed conflict broke out between Sudan’s armed forces and the Rapid Support Force, a militia group in the capital Khartoum. Perseus subsequently shut its Khartoum office and withdrew staff from the Meyas Sand site which is located about 1,000km north of the city.

Perseus said today that the office in Khartoum would remain closed, but that it had allowed employees and contractors to return to the exploration site.

Preliminary site works and confirmatory drilling activities are due to restart by month-end, the company said. There had been no reported incidents around the Meyas Sand site.

The site would “be secured by a security force led by Perseus’s in-house security personnel, and include representatives of the Sudanese Mining Police, a body that operates under the control of the Ministry for Minerals, as well as representatives of our host communities,” said Perseus.

“With further assessment of the situation, it appears that the perceived immediate threat has abated and we are comfortable with the prospects of returning to work at the Meyas Sand site without undue risk,” said Jeff Quartermaine, CEO of Perseus Mining.

He added events in Sudan had “no impact on our gold production activities that take place in West Africa, specifically, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire”.  In the first two months of the June 2023 quarter, Perseus’s operations have continued to perform strongly,” he said.