Under the expansion project, the current 4.2 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) Carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant will be supplemented by a 1.2Mtpa BIOX plant


Sabodala-Massawa Expansion Project Site Layout. (Credit: Endeavour Mining Corporation)

Endeavour Mining is set to proceed with the expansion of its Sabodala-Massawa mine complex in Senegal, backed by a recently completed definitive feasibility study (DFS).

As outlined in the DFS, the current 4.2 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) Carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant will be supplemented with a 1.2Mtpa BIOX plant.

The new BIOX plant will help process the high-grade refractory ores from the Massawa Central Zone and Massawa North Zone deposits.

Endeavour said that the expansion project will result in an incremental production of 1.35Moz, at a low all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $576/oz over the life of mine.

Also, the project is expected to increase the average production of the mine by 194koz per year, in the first five years of operations, from 2024 till 2028, at an average AISC of $531/oz.

The company intends to commence the mine expansion works in the second quarter this year, with the first gold production expected in early 2024.

The expansion project is said to require $290m in upfront capital, and the company is expected to self-fund the costs from the existing operations at the mine.

Endeavour Mining president and CEO Sébastien de Montessus said: “We are extremely pleased with both the current performance of Sabodala-Massawa and the Definitive Feasibility Study results announced today.

“We are excited to launch this low-capex intensive brownfield expansion project as it will continue to improve the quality of our operating portfolio and contribute to driving the Group’s return on capital employed above our 20% target.

Endeavour believes that the expansion project will enhance operations at the Sabodala-Massawa complex, to help the mine achieve top tier status.

The combined CIL and BIOX operations at the mine are expected result in the average production of 373koz per annum, over the next 5 years, at an average AISC of $745/oz.

Endeavour has acquired the Sabodala-Massawa property from Teranga Gold in February last year.

The Sabodala-Massawa operations has two mining licenses, the Sabodala exploitation permit held by Sabodala Gold Operations (SGO), and the Massawa exploitation permit held by Massawa.

The company, through its subsidiaries, indirectly holds a 90% stake in each of SGO and Massawa, while Senegal’s government holds the remaining stake.

Montessus added: “We are very pleased to be able to pursue this organic growth opportunity while maintaining a healthy balance sheet and the financial flexibility to continue to deliver strong capital returns to shareholders.

“We believe we are well positioned to unlock the full value of the Sabodala-Massawa complex as we have significantly de-risked the project by integrating key changes into the DFS, based on experience gained from operating the asset and the results of further technical analysis.”