Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) on Monday reported that its 2019 production increased by 6% year-on-year to 651,000 oz at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $818/oz, meeting guidance for the 7th consecutive year.
But annual output was at the bottom end of the 650,000-695,000 oz guidance range due to the slower-than-expected ramp-up at the newly commissioned Bouéré deposit at the Houndé mine in Burkina Faso caused by severe rain during the third quarter.
Measured and indicated resources across the company’s operations rose by 1.2Moz year-on-year to 15.1Moz, net of mine depletion.
Proven and probable reserves remained flat year-on-year at 7.9Moz, but increases are expected in Q2 2020 with the conversion of the maiden 1Moz indicated resource for the Kari West and Kari Center deposits at Houndé.
In terms of notable project developments, the company’s Ity carbon-in-leach (CIL) project in Côte d’Ivoire was completed on budget and four months ahead of schedule with the 5Mtpa volumetric upgrade completed for minimal capital expenditure.
Meanwhile, the miner’s operating cash flow increased by 20% year-on-year to $302 million. Following nearly four years of intensive growth-capital investment, net debt was reduced by $52 million in the third quarter and by a further $80 million in the fourth quarter.
Adjusted net earnings for the year were up by 39% year-on-year to $74 million.
In a press release, president and CEO Sébastien de Montessys said the company has now “successfully transitioned from a period of intense capital investment to an exciting new phase of significant cash flow generation.”
He added that the company’s near-term objectives would be to strengthen its balance sheet and to ensure optionality was built into its portfolio.
Endeavour intends to achieve this through deleveraging with strong free cash flows, while simultaneously progressing studies at its Kalana and Fetekro projects and continuing to advance exploration, it said.
The company has already planned and budgeted for exploration programs at its Houndé, Agbaou and Karma mines in 2020.