2019 should be the year Jeff Quartermaine wins board approval for the construction of Yaouré, the Côte d’Ivoire mine that will take total company production to 500,000 ounces a year by 2022. This was after an engineering and design study in October confirmed capital expenditure at $264m, as well as fixing on a number of project return assumptions, including a 32-month payback provided – and the biggest assumption of all – that the gold price will stay at $1,250/oz or above. So far, Quartermaine has got all the big calls right. The company turned cash flow positive mid-2018 after getting its Edikan mine in Ghana to operate with greater efficiencies. Perhaps more importantly, Sissingué – also in Côte d’Ivoire – came into commercial production. This is mighty helpful when financing Yaouré, especially as Perseus does not expect to raise new equity finance to do it. All in all, Perseus intends to have three mines in two different countries de-risking the business case substantially. But risks persist, inevitably. A major issue is that life of mines at Edikan and Sissingué are relatively short at four to six years which means the pressure is on to extend economic reserves of gold. Quartermaine is confident this can be done, especially at Sissingué where reserves were extended 9% to 380,000 oz as of end-August. Same at Edikan where there’s a chance of extending into resources “at depth”. Speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting on November 23, Quartermaine described 2018 as the key year of transition for Perseus shareholders.
“I expect that 2018 will be judged as a watershed year for Perseus.”
LIFE OF JEFF
Jeff has an unusual mix of skills possessing qualifications in both engineering and accounting which he has been plying for some 25 years at various Toronto- and Australian-listed resource companies. Prior to the merger with Amara, he was CFO of Perseus from 2010 to 2013 where after he was appointed MD.
- Web Address: www.perseusmining.com