TSX/ASX-listed Endeavour Mining Corporation has received the official decree from the government of the Ivory Coast granting its Ivorian subsidiary a mining permit for its 85%-owned Agbaou gold project, which is under construction and on track to begin production in the first quarter of 2014.
The terms of the mining permit are as expected and include a royalty of 3% to the state, a 10% free-carried interest to the state and an area of 334 km2.
It was previously agreed that on receiving the mining permit, Endeavour will grant a 5% free carried interest to SODEMI, the State Company for Mining Development of Côte d’Ivoire, bringing the state partner’s total interest to 15%.
There are no other permits required for construction and production at the Agbaou gold project. The recruitment of key project personnel is 100% complete, and the crop compensation of key infrastructure zones has entered the advanced stage. This is in line with expected timelines to reach production in 2014’s first quarter.
Once operating, Agbaou will deliver an additional 100 000 ozpa. Endeavour has a strong financial base from which to invest in long-term operational growth, exploration to replace and increase reserves, and funding for acquisitions.
In August 2012, Endeavour announced a definitive agreement to acquire TSX-listed Avion Gold to become one of the largest West African gold mining companies with four producing mines and an attractive pipeline of exploration and resource development properties. The Avion transaction is expected to close in October 2012. The acquisition will immediately increase Endeavour’s forecast gold production by approximately 50% to between 282 000 and 304 000 oz for 2012.“The acquisition of Avion complements our strategy of becoming a leading and diversified West African gold producer. Avion’s Tabakoto mine and Kofi property in western Mali and the advanced Houndé property in Burkina Faso fit very well into Endeavour’s production and development portfolios. At closing, Endeavour’s gold production immediately rises to approximately 300 000 ozpa including the Tabakoto mill expansion and completion of Agbaou construction, and our gold production is forecast to reach approximately 450 000 ozpa. Endeavour has a well-established track record of using its financial and operating strengths to create value and produce results,” says Neil Woodyer, CEO of Endeavour.

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