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Endeavour becomes West Africa’s top gold miner

Agbaou mine, Côte d’Ivoire. (Image courtesy of Endeavour Mining)

Canada’s Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) said on Thursday it had completed the C$1 billion ($732 million) acquisition of smaller rival Semafo, which has created West Africa’s top gold producer.

With the merger completed, Semafo’s president and chief executive Benoit Desormeaux has assumed the role of Endeavour’s new president.

Semafo’s chief financial officer, Martin Milette, was set to be group CFO, but he has informed Endeavour that, for personal reasons, he won’t be able to relocate to London.

Henri de Joux, executive VP of people and information technology at Endeavour, will act as interim CFO, the company said.

The deal, announced in March, has brought together six mines with strong cash flows into one portfolio. Combined reserves stand at 10.5 million ounces, and measured and indicated resources, 20.7 million ounces.

Guidance update

Endeavour, which has seen its share price rise by more than 60% since it announced it was acquiring Semafo, said it expected to produced more than one million ounces of gold this year.

The company expects to generate C$750 million of operating cash flow this year, which will help boost its balance sheet.

The West Africa-focused miner will update its 2020 production and cost guidance, incorporating Semafo’s operations in its second-quarter financial and operating results, scheduled to be published in early August.

Endeavour and Semafo had previously worked as industry partners. In 2019, they began a dialogue to evaluate the merits of a business combination, but were unable to reach a deal. Talks resumed earlier this year.