"Over the years Perseus has not spent large amounts on new exploration, prioritizing the mine developments, but now with strong cashflows, we can once again allocate appropriate capital to exploration."


Jeffrey Quartermaine


October 25, 2021

Could you comment on the company’s financial performance?

In FY21, Perseus recorded a net profit of A$139.4 million after-tax, compared to A$94.4 million last year, based on an improved EBITDA of A$303.1 million. These outcomes not only reflect selling our gold at a higher price, but also reflects the benefit of the optimization work carried out at our operations during the year. We operate at a competitive AISC relative to the industry, and we seek every opportunity to maximize every dollar. This strong profit result has put Perseus in a position to declare a maiden return of capital to shareholders which will take place later this year.

Can you elaborate on Perseus’s new dividend policy?

Our mission is to generate benefits for all of our stakeholders, including our shareholders. For shareholders, we can generate value in two ways: Through capital growth, something that we have delivered in the past 12 to 18 months, and through recurring capital returns. Up until now, Perseus has been heavily involved in a development phase with significant capital outflows, so we have not been in a position to return capital to shareholders. This situation has changed following the commencement of operations at our third mine, Yaouré, and we now find ourselves in a position where we are generating enough cash to sustain a regular return of capital.

Given the current structure of our business, we decided to make a maiden capital return rather than a dividend, but in future years capital returns will take the form of a dividend. Initially, we have set a target of paying a dividend each year that represents a 1% yield, based on the share price at the end of our financial year, namely June 30. Should we generate surplus cash, we can always return further money to shareholders via conducting a share buyback or through paying special dividends.

This year, Perseus brought its third mine into production, on target and on budget. What are your expectations of Yaouré?

Yaouré poured first gold in December 2020 and it has been producing extremely well since that time. On 30 June 2021, we published an updated Ore Reserve estimate for Yaoure  of 29.6 million tonnes grading at 1.71 g/t Au and containing 2.63 million oz gold. Based on this Ore Reserve, we have estimated a mine life of eight years, with the potential to extend through additional discoveries, both at surface and underground. We expect that Yaouré will be producing about 260,000 oz annually for the next three years, at an average AISC of US$734/oz. Beyond the first three-year horizon, the longevity of the mine and exact production levels will depend on how successful we are in establishing an underground mine off the CMA pit and also bringing into play additional open pittable reserves we have identified around the site. We are now drilling out several of these structures that will allow us to extend the life of Yaoure well beyond the currently estimated eight years.

Edikan celebrates 10 years since pouring first gold in 2021. What expansion opportunities exist for Edikan?

In the past, we have looked at the underground potential of the mine to increase our production capacity, but we decided to not go forward with this at the present time as the margins are not sufficiently attractive to compensate for the added risk. Edikan is currently projected to produce out to 2025, based on existing Ore Reserves but we are drilling various exploration targets in close proximity to the mine and we have identified very good potential for a material life extension at Edikan. We will be releasing drilling results from this latest work in the next couple of months.

How do investors appreciate the company’s diversification across three mines in two jurisdictions, and what is your broader portfolio strategy?

I can’t speak for our investors, but I would be very surprised if they were not comfortable with our strategy of becoming a multi-operation, multi-jurisdiction mining company. Certainly, the steady increase in our share price over the last couple of years would suggest that this is the case.

In terms of our broader strategy, we believe that discoveries and in-house developments generally yield the most value for shareholders, which is why we have focused primarily on organic growth, creating excellent opportunities within our portfolio. Over the years, Perseus has not spent large amounts on new exploration, prioritizing the mine developments, but now with strong cashflows, we can once again allocate appropriate capital to exploration.

In terms of inorganic growth, we are always on the look out for value accretive opportunities. These are not easy to come by but based on our track record of acquiring both Amara Mining in 2016 and more recently, Exore Resources in 2020, when the right opportunities come along, we are very comfortable in using this strategy to grow our business – particularly when it provides us with additional resources to take through the development pipeline to production.

Having inaugurated two new mines over the course of five years, can you share with our audience what is Perseus’s approach to community engagement and local beneficiation?

It is part of our DNA, as business people and as human beings, that we must recognise that we are guests in our host countries and communities and without a strong licence to operate, we have nothing. As such, we must work hand in hand with our hosts to make sure that everybody benefits from our ventures; also, in understanding that our resources are finite, we must make preparations to ensure that we ultimately leave our sites in a better condition than when we arrived – both in terms of the natural environment and the livelihood of citizens. Across our operations, 96% of our staff are local citizens, and in addition to this we contribute to a range of community programmes aimed at providing key services including health and education, in particular.

Could you summarize your key priorities over the next two years?

One of our core values is doing what we said we were going to do: We said that we are going to produce in excess of 500,000 oz/year at a margin of not less than US$400 per ounce, and that is what we intend to do. We also want to put Perseus into a position where it can sustain this level of production and cashflow well into the future and to do this, not only do we need to replace the resources that we consume, but hopefully, materially add to our inventory through organic or inorganic means.


"AFC will continue to provide institutional support to Indigenous companies looking to develop the core assets that have been left behind by the majors."
"In 2023, we executed our first international project, which involved providing 24-hour diving services to support the installation of the first FPSO in Côte d'Ivoire."
"As a manufacturing service provider for multinationals we are privileged to have become an important business partner as they redraw their supply chain footprint and build local capacity."
"Our customers can benefit from relying on a single supplier for multiple products, especially in an inflationary and disruptive supply environment."


Peru Mining 2024 Pre-Release II

As the second half of 2024 approaches, Peru stands at a crossroads. According to the latest figures, the Democratic Republic of Congo has surpassed Peru as the second-largest copper producer. Cabinet changes under Boluarte's administration and ongoing corruption cases have taken a toll on investor confidence, and illegal mining remains a pressing issue. However, not everything is lost for the Andean country, and the mining sector presents growth opportunities.



"We plan to double our copper production by the end of the decade. There remains significant upside potential in the gold industry, and the copper operations are strategic and additive to that."