Endeavour extends Karma mine’s life to over 10 years

West Africa-focused Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) confirmed this week that a drill program at the North Kao deposit, located at its Karma gold mine in Burkina Faso, has added 262,000 ounces to the already detected reserves, extending the mine life to more than 10 years.

The Canadian firm, which last month revealed is in merger talks with African gold producer Acacia Mining, said the program was completed last year and comprised 68 core holes of 7,571 m and 488 reverse circulation holes of 39,554 m. The sections were spaced by 50 m, with 35 m between holes.

Endeavour Mining inherited the low-cost Karma gold mine last year, after acquiring fellow Canadian miner True Gold in a Cdn$240 million deal.

Endeavour Mining inherited the low-cost Karma gold mine last year, after acquiring fellow Canadian miner True Gold in a Cdn$240 million deal.

Chief executive and president, Sébastien de Montessus, said that when his company took possession of Karma it was confident in its exploration potential and the ability to quickly extend the mine’s life.

“Following the conversion of resources at North Kao to reserves, Karma now meets our strategic portfolio criteria of having a minimum life of ten years and an ability to produce at an all-in-sustaining cost of below $850/oz,” he said in the statement.

“Looking ahead, our 2017 programme will focus on the Rambo West and Yabonsgo near-mill targets, which we believe could further improve the mine's outlook,” he added.

Endeavour Mining already owns five operating mines in Africa and it’s building its flagship Houndé project, also in Burkina Faso, which is set to begin production in the fourth quarter of the year.

The development of the Houndé project is expected to lift Endeavour's production to over 900,000 ounces of the precious metal, considerably more than the 584,000 ounces it mined in 2016.

There was no mention in the Karma update of the possible merger between the firm and Barrick Gold’s controlled Acacia Mining, but experts estimate that the combination of both companies would create a $3.4 billion Africa-focused gold producer.