Endeavour Mining has made further success from its ongoing exploration program at the La Plaque discovery, part of its flagship Ity mine in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, with a 43 per cent increase in Le Plaque’s Indicated resource and the confirmation of mineralisation for seven additional nearby targets.
In the first half of 2020, exploration efforts continued to be focused on the Floleu license, located only 6km south of the processing plant, which hosts the Le Plaque discovery, with a total of 67,195 metres drilled. This amounts to 188,600 metres drilled on the licence since the discovery was made in early 2018.
To date, an important part of the drilling campaign has focused on gaining a better understanding of the area’s potential. As such, 65 per cent of the holes drilled since 2018 were for reconnaissance, which has confirmed mineralisation for at least seven targets, thereby boosting confidence in delineating further deposits. The Le Plaque deposit was the first target to be delineated and is now estimated to represent only 30 per cent of the whole anomaly.
Drilling has resulted in a 43 per cent increase in Le Plaque’s Indicated resource estimate to 689koz, since the last resource was published in June 2019. Drilling has confirmed the Le Plaque deposit remains open at depth and in multiple directions and further resources are expected to be delineated.
At least 15,000 metres of drilling are planned for the remainder of 2020. Following these resource additions, the Le Plaque reserve estimate is expected to be published in Q3-2020 and integrated into the Ity mine plan. The permitting process is well underway, with a mining permit expected to be received in Q3-2020.
Patrick Bouisset, Executive Vice President Exploration and Growth, said the results of the exploration program continues to confirm its potential to be another significant discovery.
“We are leveraging the same strategy of intensive reconnaissance drilling to improve our understanding of the area before ramping up to resource delineation through infill drilling that we applied to the Ity Complex prior to 2018.”
“At that time, the priority was to quickly delineate resources to justify the construction of the CIL plant and so we focused on infill drilling to leverage the knowledge that had been acquired through previous reconnaissance drilling. This strategy resulted in the discovery of 1.6Moz of Indicated resources in 2016 and 2017 at $15/oz.”
On the Floleu licence, to date 65 per cent of drill holes have been aimed at defining the global potential and making new discoveries which has led to several targets being identified, and only 35 per cent of the drilling has been to delineate resources at Le Plaque.
“So far, our results have been outstanding, both in terms of the high grade nature and mineralisation extension.”
Bouisset said looking ahead, the upside potential of the Le Plaque deposit remains open at depth and in several directions, and by its neighbouring targets.
“We expect to continue to delineate resources and remain on track to achieve the 5-year exploration target which we set in 2016.”
“In the near-term, we expect the higher-grade material from Le Plaque to displace the lower-grade reserve material in the mining sequence, helping to improve the mine’s cash flow generation, whilst supporting our goal of locking in a 10-plus year mine life at Ity, with annual production of 250kozpa.”