Perseus Mining Limited - Operations Update

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/

PERTH, Western Australia, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Perseus Mining Limited ("Perseus" or the "Company") (TSX & ASX:PRU) is pleased to provide an update on aspects of its gold mining and development operations in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.

Remediation of Crusher

The status of remedial work on the crusher at the Edikan Gold Mine ("EGM") is as follows:

  • Replacement of the crusher's main shaft and mantle assembly was completed on Friday, 22 February 2013 with the assistance of technicians from FL Smidth, the crusher manufacturer. On Saturday 23 February 2013, after completion of recommissioning, direct tipping of ore to the crusher commenced and has continued largely uninterrupted.

  • In addition to the replacement of the crusher shaft and mantle, a number of additional modifications were made to the crusher chute and conveyor to improve material flows to the crushed ore stockpile.

  • During the four-day shutdown of the crusher, milling operations continued uninterrupted with ore being fed to the SAG mill from the crushed ore stockpile, which had been built up to approximately 80,000 tonnes of material prior to the planned crusher shutdown.

  • A further two day shutdown of the crusher is planned for late March to complete all remaining ancillary remediation work and fine tuning. As was the case in the February shutdown, this work is not expected to impact milling operations.

  • In the period from 24 February 2013 to 2 March 2013, a total of 107,000 tonnes of ore have been crushed at a weighted average crushing rate of approximately 1,100 wet metric tonnes per hour which equates to 7.7 MTPA assuming a utilisation rate of 80%.

Gold Production at EGM

Gold production at the EGM for the March 2013 Quarter to date has included:

                         
January 2013                       17,498 ozs
February 2013                       19,000  ozs*
Total                       36,498 ozs
                         

This production was achieved notwithstanding that, for all of January and a significant proportion of February 2013, crushing operations were restricted by equipment availability which reduced the availability of ore to feed the SAG mill.

*Final reconciliation pending

Comments from Perseus's Managing Director, Jeff Quartermaine

"The remediation of the crusher at Edikan has occurred as planned and Perseus is now looking forward to putting the technical challenges of late 2012 behind us and returning to the gold production levels that we know the Edikan Gold Mine is capable of delivering. Production of nearly 36,500 ounces of gold in the March 2013 Quarter to date, in spite of the challenges presented by the crusher is encouraging and has provided a solid start towards achieving production guidance for the first half of this calendar year.

This achievement is largely the result of hard work by our employees at Edikan and the technicians from FL Smidth, all of whom have very pleasingly risen to the challenge of getting production back on track as soon as possible."

During the two month period, 909,300 tonnes of ore were processed through the SAG Mill at an average throughput rate of 840 dry metric tonnes per hour. At this processing rate and assuming a steady state utilisation of 8,000 hours per annum (i.e. 91.3%), the annual processing rate would be 6.7MTPA, approximately 1.2 MTPA above the current 5.5 MTPA nameplate capacity of the processing facility.

The average head grade of ore fed to the mill during the period was 1.5 g/t and the recovery was 83% due to a slightly coarser grind size than budgeted.

The production performance in the first two months of the new calendar year ensures that the Company remains on target to achieve guidance production of 105-125,000 ounces in the six-month period ending 30 June 2013.

Sissingué Gold Mine ("SGM") Development Project

Encouraging progress continues to be made in discussions with the Ministry for Mining and Petroleum in Côte d'Ivoire on fiscal arrangements that will apply to the SGM during the period of its construction and operation.

The Ministry is in the latter stages of preparing an amended Mining Code that is intended to attract foreign investment to the Ivorian mining industry and it is anticipated that enabling legislation for the amended Mining Code will be introduced to the Parliament shortly.

It is also expected that the new Mining Code will provide a legal framework for companies such as Perseus to enter into a fiscal stability agreement in the form of a Mining Convention with the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, a key pre-requisite for Perseus's commitment to invest further significant sums of capital in the SGM development project.

Development of the SGM is fully funded with development capital to be drawn from three sources including existing cash reserves, future internally generated cash flows plus an undrawn line of credit of up to US$100M.

About Perseus Mining Limited

Perseus Mining Limited (ASX/TSX: PRU) has forged a reputation as one of West Africa's most successful gold explorers focussing on under-explored gold belts in West Africa.  In June 2010, Perseus commenced the development of the Edikan Gold Mine ("EGM") (previously known as the Central Ashanti Gold Project) in Ghana and in August 2011, produced its first gold from the EGM.  Details of the project and mine plan are set out in the technical report entitled "Technical Report - Central Ashanti Gold Project, Ghana" dated May 30, 2011.

Perseus is now planning the development of its second mining operation, the Sissingué Gold Mine (SGM), part of the Tengrela Gold Project in Côte d'Ivoire. First gold production from the SGM is targeted to occur in the second half of 2014. The SGM has the potential to become a significant contributor to the Company's goal of generating significant and sustainable cashflows from at least two separate West African mining operations by the end of 2014.   Details of the project are set out within "Technical Report - Tengrela Gold Project, Ivory Coast" dated December 22, 2010.

Perseus will continue its strategy of seeking to consistently increase its inventory of Mineral Resources and Reserves through generative exploration and infill drilling on its existing exploration tenements and any new exploration properties that are added to the Company's asset portfolio.

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Information: This report contains forward-looking information which is based on the assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management of the Company believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, but which may prove to be incorrect. Assumptions have been made by the Company regarding, among other things: the price of gold, continuing commercial production at the Edikan Gold Mine without any major disruption, development of a mine at Tengrela, the receipt of required governmental approvals, the accuracy of capital and operating cost estimates, the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner and the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which may have been used by the Company. Although management believes that the assumptions made by the Company and the expectations represented by such information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, the actual market price of gold, the actual results of current exploration, the actual results of future exploration,  changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's publicly filed documents. The Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable.  Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the Company's ability to carry on its exploration and development activities, the timely receipt of required approvals, the price of gold, the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner and the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms.   Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  Perseus does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

 

 

SOURCE: Perseus Mining Limited

For further information:

To discuss any aspect of this announcement, please contact:

Jeff Quartermaine at telephone +61 8 6144 1700 or email jeff.quartermaine@perseusmining.com;
or Nathan Ryan at telephone +61 3 9622 2159 or email nathan.ryan@nwrcommunications.com.au (media) or Rebecca Greco at telephone +1 416 822 6483 or email fighouse@yahoo.com (Toronto)

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