September quarter: Perseus produced 68.8kozs in the September 2020 quarter, just above midpoint of guidance (66kozs). Group guidance for the half remained at 125-139kozs, implying 57-70kozs for the December 2020 quarter. Perseus says Edikan and Sissingué are forecast to continue to produce strongly in the December quarter.
Argonaut estimates Perseus added A$27M to cash and bullion in the September 2020 quarter before capital spending on Yaouré, making it the 11th consecutive quarter of positive cash generation.
At the end of September, with US$74M still to pay out on Yaouré’s construction costs, PRU had cash and bullion on hand of US$147M (with US$150M debt fully drawn).
Yaouré progress: Yaouré construction is on track for its first gold pour in December 2020, a month ahead of the contracted date. Concern over Covid’s effect has eased without much impact on timetable or budget. Clearing and grade control of the CMA pit started in August. The crusher and mills are installed. HV power lines connecting the plant and nearby hydro dam switchyard are installed. Circuit energisation and commissioning are due to start mid-November.
The Company plans to update Yaouré plans in the March 2021 quarter. Prevailing plans allow for about 60kozs in FY21, and 260kozs in FY22. The 260kozspa run rate suggests a 2.7 g/t head grade across 3.3Mt in FY22. A 7:1 strip ratio and processing costs of US$15/t would put Yaouré’s starting cost base at about US$700/oz and our estimate of Yaouré’s FY22 cash surplus at about US$270M (A$370M).
Mine life extensions: In FY20 Perseus started tending to the back end of its mine lives at all three projects with good effect. Prior to PRU estimates still to be made, Argonaut adds 170kozs to our Sissingué model for Bagoe as a starting assumption. Exploration at each of Edikan and Yaouré could extend those operations’ horizons in FY21 and FY22.
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