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03.06.2020 10:58:36

Perseus consolidates position in Côte d’Ivoire with A$60m swoop on neighbour Exore

MERGER and acquisition activity in Africa’s gold mining sector took another step forward today after Perseus Mining offered about A$60m in shares for Exore, a junior operating about 70km from Perseus’ Sissingué mine in West Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire.“The ability to monetise resources in our neighbourhood is extremely attractive; we know for many years there is significant gold in the region,” said Jeff Quartermaine, MD and CEO of Perseus in a conference call.Exore is drilling the Bagoe and Liberty prospects which is south of Sissingué, a mine that produces between 70,000 and 90,000 ounces of gold a year. “Bagoe is only about 70km from the mill at Sissingué and that can be quite easily trucked,” said Quartermaine.He added that with Perseus’ financial resources, the company would be able to turn Exore’s drilling work into a defined reserve, as well as drill out parts of the firm’s 2,000 square kilometre regional footprint.Perseus had about $12m in net cash as of end-March, described by Quartermaine as a “fairly strong financial position”, and down from about $18m end-December following a draw on debt. He added that given the strong dollar gold price, and with the commissioning of the firm’s $265m Yaouré project, also in Cote d’Ivoire, the company would start mining at a rate of 500,000 oz/year by year-end.“At the current gold price this represents strong cash flow. This will allow us to develop Bagoe but it also allows us to return money to shareholders which is something that we will be looking at closely,” he said.Shares in Perseus fell about 12% on the Australian Stock Exchange in the wake of the transaction.The deal would be done about mid-September assuming Exore shareholders voted for the scheme of arrangement which at relative share prices the day before the announcement, represented a 69% premium to Exore’s valuation. Exore board had already indicated their support for the offer in the absence of a higher competing bid.Some 45 million Perseus shares would be allocated to Exore shareholders, equal to about 4% of Perseus’ share capital.Exore had also decided to buy out minority interests in Bagoe and Liberty at a cost of $4.5m. Quartermaine said it was a major benefit in that Exore would have 100% ownership of the properties it was incorporating into Perseus.Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Perseus withdrew its full year gold production forecast which had been put at 260,000 to 300,000 ounces at the beginning of its financial year in July last year.The company produced some 57,983 ounces of gold from its Edikan and Sissingué gold mines in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire respectively, and sold just over 60,000 oz in the March quarter. Production for the 2020 financial year to date is about 192,000 oz.The post Perseus consolidates position in Côte d’Ivoire with A$60m swoop on neighbour Exore appeared first on Miningmx.
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