The Houndé project is located 250 km southwest of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. Infrastructure in the area includes a paved highway approximately 2.7 km from the mine site, a 225 kV power line as close as 200 metres in some areas and a rail line that extends to the port of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire approximately 25 km west of the deposit area.
The mine reached commercial production in November 2017 and Houndé is now Endeavour’s flagship asset, ranking amongst West Africa's top tier cash generating mines. The average annual production during the first four years of operations is expected to be 235,000 ounces of gold at an all-in-sustaining-cost of US$610 per ounce. Houndé is an open-pit mine with a 3.0 Mt per year gravity circuit and carbon-in-leach plant. Gold recoveries are expected to average 93%.
The mineralization at Houndé is within the highly productive and prospective Birimian Greenstone belt and occurs mainly as quartz stockwork-style. The Vindaloo trend, where the bulk of the Mineral Reserves have been identified, has been drill tested for a distance of approximately 7.7 km along strike and up to 350 metres in depth. The mineralization remains open both along strike and to depth and Endeavour has set an exploration budget of $40 million to be spent over the next four years.
Sandstorm’s royalty covers the Kari North and Kari South tenements which contain Proven and Probable Reserves as of December 2019 of 24.2 Mt at a gold grade of 1.8 g/t for 1.4 million contained ounces (0.5 g/t cut-off).
Houndé is on track to meet its full year guidance and produce between 240–260 koz in 2021 at AISC of $855–905 per ounce. Mining will continue to focus on the Kari Pump pit with contributions from the Bouéré and Vindaloo Centre pits, while stripping activities are expected to increase at the Vindaloo Main pit. An exploration program of up to $7.0 million has been planned for 2021, comprised of approximately 47,000 meters of drilling.
Endeavour plans to announce maiden Mineral Reserve estimates for Kari Center and Kari Gap in March 2021.
Endeavour recently announced an update to the Houndé mine plan to include the newly discovered Kari Pump and Kari West deposits. The updated mine plan also reflects the increased plant capacity of more than 4.0Mtpa, outperforming its nameplate capacity of 3.0Mtpa. The updated mine plan has production through 2031, with average production for the next five years estimated to be 250,000 ounces per year. Sandstorm’s royalty covers a portion of the Kari area.