In the first quarter of next year Endeavour Mining will open Agbaou gold mine, in Cote d’Ivoire – its fourth gold mine in West Africa – for maiden production.

The Australian and Toronto-listed gold miner said mine start-up that will add a further 100 000 ounces a year to total output.

This was according to Endeavour’s Executive VP, Technical Services, David Laing, who was speaking in Perth, Australia, on the final day of the three day 2013 Paydirt Africa Down Under conference.

He stated that some $100 million had been expended to date to ready the Agbaou gold mine for maiden production. A $60 million spend was remaining to have Agbaou join Endeavour’s other producing mines at  Tabakoto, Mali, Youga, Burkina Faso, and Nzema, Ghana.

The new gold flow will take Endeavour’s production profile from current output of 320 000 ounces of gold per annum to more than 400 000 ounces per year through 2014 as Agbaou hits full production.  All In Sustaining Cash (ASIC) costs for 2013 are expected to be $1 055-$1 155 per ounce.

The company is targeting reducing its ASIC costs to less than $1 000 per ounce going forward.

The enhancement comes as Endeavour follows its peers and cuts exploration, labour and inventory costs but continues to progress with a potential fifth gold mine – the Hounde project in Burkina Faso. Hounde is currently in feasibility study stage but has the potential to add a further 160 000 ounces per year.

“In terms of Agbaou, we are in discussions with the Cote d’Ivoire Government regarding the mining convention for the mine. These discussions are progressing well,” he said, adding, “It positions Endeavour as a continually growing West African gold producer focused on optimising current operations and completing construction works at Agbaou.

“We are well supported financially by five top global banks, we have the financial flexibility provided by our $350 million corporate debt facility and have the financial resources to complete our fourth mine and other capital projects.”

Paydirt 2013 Africa Down Under Conference is Australia’s largest mining conference, and kicked off on Wednesday, in Perth, Australia. A showcase for the $40 billion investment to date by Australian mining companies, explorers and suppliers, in co-developing Africa’s vast mineral wealth and its mining industry – and largest gathering in the world of Federal and African resources ministers and business heads outside of the African continent – the three day conference runs over two hotel venues in the Perth CBD.

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