SEMAFO to Produce Up to 240,000 Ounces of Gold in 2009


    MONTREAL, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - SEMAFO (TSX: SMF) today provided a
summary of its 2008 key operating highlights as well as the Company's
production outlook for 2009:

    - Gold production for 2008 totaled 195,500 ounces, establishing a
      production record and exceeding SEMAFO's guidance of between 165,000
      and 185,000 ounces of gold.
    - Average cash operating cost for 2008 is expected to be approximately
      $465 per ounce, which is in line with management's forecast and
      represents an improvement of 7% over 2007.
    - SEMAFO's 2009 annual production plan is established at between 220,000
      and 240,000 ounces of gold, an increase of approximately 18% over 2008.
    - Average cash operating cost for 2009 is estimated to be between $435
      and $475 per ounce.(1)
    - Capital expenditures for 2009 are expected to be $13 million; including
      $4 million for the first phase of the Mana expansion project.

    (1) The average cash operating cost is based on material assumptions
        calculated as at December 31, 2008 and based on the following: an oil
        price of $0.90 per liter, $1.19 Canadian to the US Dollar, and
        $1.30 US dollar to one Euro, continued stable production at all three

    "SEMAFO is looking forward to another strong year in 2009," said Benoit
La Salle, SEMAFO's President and CEO, "We intend to build upon our 2008
achievements, where we delivered record production and completed the smooth,
successful start-up of our new Mana mine. In 2008, our goal was to increase
gold production by 60% through steady quarterly growth. Not only did we
deliver on this promise, but we surpassed our objective, achieving an increase
of 84% over our 2007 production."
    "We expect continued stable production at all three mines in 2009, with
the Mana mine to account for 55% of our total production" said Benoit
Desormeaux, SEMAFO's Executive Vice-President and COO. "In 2009, as part of
our expansion project at Mana, the purchase of additional mining equipment and
minor facility modifications will augment plant capacity to 6,000 tonnes per
day for saprolite ore. The delivery of mining equipment is expected at Mana in
the second quarter of 2009, while increased capacity at the plant is expected
be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009."
    The Company closed out 9,000 ounces of gold sales contracts at a cost of
$4,525,000 using a portion of the December 2008 financing proceeds. The
Company is scheduled to retire all 22,100 outstanding gold sales contracts by
June 30, 2009. Currently, 7,100 ounces of these gold sales contracts remain
    "SEMAFO remains committed to the effective management of its assets"
reiterated Mr. La Salle, "We will continue to focus on the diligent
administration of our finances in order to maximize liquidity and cash flow.
We are committed to increasing shareholder value through the delivery of solid
results all of which is a result of the strength and dedication of our
operational and management teams.

    About SEMAFO

    Semafo is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and
exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three
gold mines in Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea. Semafo is committed to evolve in
a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of
interest, while maintaining principles and strengthening relationships to
increase shareholder value.


    This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements
regarding expectations of the Company as to the market price of gold,
strategic plans, future commercial production, production targets, timetables,
mining operating expenses, capital expenditures, and mineral reserve and
resource estimates. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks
and uncertainties and accordingly, actual results and future events could
differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that
could cause future results or events to differ materially from current
expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include,
but are not limited to, fluctuations in the market price of precious metals,
mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and
resources, risks related to hedging strategies, risks of delays in
construction, requirements of additional financing and other risks described
in the Company's documents filed from time to time with Canadian securities
regulatory authorities. Although the Company is of the opinion that these
forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, those
assumptions may prove to be incorrect. Accordingly, readers should not place
undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Readers can find further
information with respect to risks in the Annual Information Form of the
Company and other filings of the Company with Canadian securities regulatory
authorities available at The Company disclaims any obligation
to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by
applicable law.

For further information:

For further information: SEMAFO: Benoit La Salle, President & CEO, (514)
744-4408,; Sofia St Laurent, Communications, (514)

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