Endeavour Mining has launched construction at the $448m Lafigué gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, following the completion of a definitive feasibility study (DFS).

The Lafigué project, which is located in the northeast part of the Fetekro exploration permit, is 80% owned by Endeavour Mining. The other stakeholders of the project are the government of Côte d’Ivoire and SODEMI, which hold 10% each.

According to the DFS, the Lafigue project is expected to have an average annual production of 203koz at an all-in sustaining cost of $871 per ounce over a 12.8-year initial mine life.

Endeavour Mining president and CEO Sebastien de Montessus said: “We are very pleased to launch the construction of Lafigué as it will become another cornerstone mine for Endeavour while continuing to enhance our geographic diversification.

“Lafigué is expected to improve the quality of our portfolio, given its attractive production profile of approximately 200,000 ounces per year at an industry-low AISC of $871per ounce over its initial 12.8-year mine life, with robust project economics.

“Moreover, we are excited by its exploration potential as we have confirmed mineralisation at several targets in close proximity to the Lafigué deposit.”

The first gold production at the Lafigué mine is expected in early Q3 2024.

The open pit mine is planned to be developed in six stages with a maximum mining capacity of 55Mt per year.

The DFS shows an increase in the reserves at the Lafigué deposit by 0.6Moz or 30% over the preliminary feasibility study to 2.7Moz.

Based on the DFS, the mining company has decided to use an upsized 4Mtpa carbon-in-leach plant to process the ore from the Lafigué deposit.

The plant will be fed with 94.2% fresh ore and 5.8% oxide and transitional ore with the proportion of oxide and transitional ore not exceeding 30% at any time.

Endeavour Mining said that it has been targeting the discovery of 1.5 to 2Moz of indicated resources at a cost of $45/oz across the Fetekro exploration permit area over the period from 2021 to 2025.