“Seguela has produced its first gold, becoming Fortuna’s fifth operating mine,’’ said Fortuna CEO Jorge Ganoza in a press release. He said this milestone was reached on May 24, 2023, as the mine transitions from commissioning to the ramp-up phase where management plans to achieve a nominal rate of production during the third quarter. “Seguela will be a cornerstone asset in Fortuna’s portfolio for years to come, and we look forward to unlocking the value it brings to all our stakeholders,’’ he said.
The Seguela Mine is expected to produce between 60,000 to 75,000 ounces of gold in 2023 at an all-in sustaining cost of between US$880 and US$1,080 per ounce.
Fortuna Silver Mines is a Canadian company with operating mines in Argentina, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Peru and now, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. In the first quarter of 2023, the company reported production of 60,092 ounces of gold and 1.6 million ounces of silver (94,110 gold equivalent ounces).
Adjusted net income in the quarter was $13.2 million or $0.05 per share, $20.1 million lower than the first quarter of 2022. Net income came in at $11.9 million or $0.04, compared to $27 million in the first quarter of 2022.
The company attributed the decrease in adjusted net income to higher operating expenses related mainly to higher input costs across its operations and lower operating margins at its Yaramoko (Burkina Faso) and Lindero (Argentina) mines, related to lower head grades.
On May 24, 2023, Fortuna shares closed at $4.42 and currently trade in a 52-week range of $5.61 and $2.82.
The company aims to strengthen its presence in West Africa by acquiring Chesser Resources Ltd.
The acquisition of Chesser will expand Fortuna’s asset base to include the preliminary economic assessment-stage Diamba Sud gold project in Senegal, one of the new and emerging gold discoveries in the region.
Chesser holds tenements covering approximately 872-square kilometres of prospective ground located in close proximity to and sharing similar geological features with tier one gold mines owned by Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE] and B2Gold Corp. [BTO-TSX, BTG-NYSE], located in Mali.
The transaction will be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement and is valued at A$0.1421 for each Chesser share or $80.6 million.
Diamba Sud consists of four open pitable high-grade gold deposits, along with numerous targets yet to be tested.
Diamba Sud is estimated to host an indicated mineral resource of 10 million tonnes o of average grade 1.9 g/t gold containing 625,000 ounces. On top of that is an inferred resource of 4.7 million tonnes of average grade 1.5 g/t gold, containing 235,000 ounces.