Avesoro Resources shares jump after exceeding 2018 gold production target

West Africa-focused gold miner Avesoro Resources (TSX, AIM:ASO) said Thursday it had exceeded its 2018 full year production guidance, thanks mainly to a 44% output increase at its New Liberty mine in Liberia and despite a 4% production decline at its Youga asset in Burkina Faso.

Avesoro’s annual production jumped by 15% to 220,458 ounces of gold compared with 2017, with New Liberty alone churning out 109,107 ounces.

The miner's 2018 production figures were boosted mainly by a 44% output increase at its New Liberty mine in Liberia, which offset a 4% output decline at Youga, in Burkina Faso.

Chief executive Serhan Umurhan said 2018 allowed the company to establish itself as a multi-asset producer, adding that the focus this year would be on “strong cash flow and further debt reduction, following the substantial reinvestment of cash generated by operations [last year].”

The miner, which has a track record of not only successfully building low cost mining operations, but also turning around non-performing assets, has experienced rapid growth to date.

Avesoro’s plan is to become a larger 500,000-ounces gold producer in the next two to three years, and it intends to achieve this goal through a combination of organic and inorganic growth — mergers or acquisitions.

The company, which also owns the Batouri asset in Cameroon and Balogo in Burkina Faso, is currently progressing a prefeasibility study (PFS) for an underground extension at New Liberty. The report is expected to include the first open-pit reserves from the Ndablama satellite deposit and is set to be concluded towards the end of the first quarter.

Shares in Avesoro Resources climbed as much as 5.5% in London on the news to 172p and were trading at 166.75p by 10:00am local time.