AUSTRALIAN and Canadian listed junior gold miner Perseus is maintaining a “business as usual” approach to its operations in the Sudan despite the war between rival military factions in Khartoum in which, so far, about 270 people have been killed and 2,600 wounded.
Perseus is developing the Meyas Sand Gold Project (MSGP0 situated in the north of the country near the border with Egypt which it acquired in February last year through the A$230m purchase of Toronto-listed Orca Mining.
Acccording to Perseus CEO Jeff Quartermaine “the safety of Perseus’ staff and contractors is the number one priority” but he points out the mine is located 1,000kms north of Khartoum where the military confrontation is taking place.
He commented, “Perseus’ presence in Khartoum is minor and all staff in Khartoum and at MSGP are safe and no damage reported.”
Quartermaine commented in October last year that “ a small number of people” had expressed “reservations” about the Orca deal given Sudan’s disrupted political history.
He added the decision to invest additional capital in the Sudan “will be strictly related to progress that we make in the country. We’ll hold fire on those commitments until we are absolutely certain that this project is going forward.
“If we have learned nothing else over the last ten years it is that once you make a commitment and start spending money you certainly lose any leverage that you might have in terms of negotiating with local communities and government.”
Perseus has so far spent US$25 in the early development of MSGP on issues such as site preparation works, drilling out the resource and modelling the water aquifer.
The company is looking at making a possible final investment decision (FID) in the second half of this calendar year which will assess the technical and economic merits of the investment along with security and the status of geopolitics.
Perseus produced 130,275oz of gold from its three operating mines in Ivory Coast and Ghana at a cash profit margin of $850/oz during the March quarter and, according to Quartermaine, remains on track to achieve production and cost guidance for its full 2023 financial year.