VANCOUVER  – Côte d’Ivoire State-owned mining company Sodemi has agreed to sell its 25% stake in the Ity gold mine back to Canadian gold miner Endeavour Mining.

President Alassane Ouattara approved the State miner’s sale of ownership in the mine in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning. Following the transaction, Endeavour will own 80% of Ity, with the government of Côte d’Ivoire holding a 10% interest and the Drogba Group, which is associated with former Chelsea football star Côte d’Ivoire-born Didier Drogba, the remaining 10%.

Endeavour said the commercial terms of the transaction remain to be finalised.

The TSX-listed company has previously stated it needs to conclude discussions of Ity ownership before making a final investment decision on the proposed Ity carbon-in-leach (CIL) gold project.

A feasibility study on a nearly $300-million CIL expansion project has demonstrated the potential for the mine to become a long-life, low-cost flagship asset.

Over the expected 14-year mine life, based on current reserves, the expansion will lift output 31% to 1.9-million ounces, compared with the September 2015 prefeasibility study. Upside potential remains with further conversion of known resources, inclusion of new discoveries and ongoing exploration on several near-mine targets.

The mill size has also increased from two-million tonnes a year to three-million tonnes a year, lifting yearly output.

Source: Mining Weekly

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