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December 2021 Quarter Report

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·34 min read
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Perseus achieves record production and operating cashflow

Figure 1

Notional Operating Cashflow
Notional Operating Cashflow
Notional Operating Cashflow

Figure 2

Quarterly Cash and Bullion Movements
Quarterly Cash and Bullion Movements
Quarterly Cash and Bullion Movements

Figure 1.1

Yaouré Gold Project – Tenements and Prospects
Yaouré Gold Project – Tenements and Prospects
Yaouré Gold Project – Tenements and Prospects

Figure 1.2

Sissingué Gold Mine and Bagoé Project – Tenements and Prospects
Sissingué Gold Mine and Bagoé Project – Tenements and Prospects
Sissingué Gold Mine and Bagoé Project – Tenements and Prospects

Figure 1.3

Bagoé Gold Project – Main Prospects
Bagoé Gold Project – Main Prospects
Bagoé Gold Project – Main Prospects

Figure 1.4

Edikan Gold Mine – Regional Geology, Tenements and Prospects
Edikan Gold Mine – Regional Geology, Tenements and Prospects
Edikan Gold Mine – Regional Geology, Tenements and Prospects

PERTH, Western Australia, Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Perseus Mining Limited (“Perseus” or the “Company”) (TSX & ASX: PRU) reports on its activities for the three months’ period ended December 31, 2021 (the “Quarter”).

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR

UNIT

CALENDAR
2020 YEAR

JUNE 2021
HALF YEAR1

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

CALENDAR
2021 YEAR1

Gold recovered

Ounces

260,045

191,246

112,786

128,378

241,164

432,410

Gold poured

Ounces

257,592

191,510

110,535

126,948

237,483

428,993

Production Cost

US$/ounce

871

894

857

823

839

863

All-In Site Cost (AISC)

US$/ounce

1,002

1,030

966

934

949

985

Gold sales

Ounces

265,127

194,114

107,650

130,486

238,136

432,250

Average sales price

US$/ounce

1,579

1,6421

1,655

1,669

1,663

1,653

Notional Cashflow

US$ million

150.0

103.31

77.8

94.0

171.8

275.11

Notes: 1. Includes Yaouré cost and sales data from 31 March 2021 following declaration of Commercial Production.

  • Key Operating highlights include:

    • Gold production increased 14% quarter-on-quarter to 128,378 ounces or 66% year-on-year to 432,410 ounces.

    • Weighted average AISCs decreased by 3% or US$32 quarter-on-quarter to US$934 per ounce or 5% year-on-year to US$985 per ounce.

    • Gold production of 241,164 ounces and AISC of US$949 per ounce, comfortably achieved market guidance for the December Half Year of 225 - 255,000 ounces of gold at US$925 -1,025 per ounce.

    • Quarterly gold sales increased by 21%, giving a 63% increase in year-on-year gold sales to 432,250 ounces.

    • Average quarterly cash margin of US$735 per ounce of gold was US$46 more than prior quarter.

    • Notional cashflow from operations increased by 21% quarter-on-quarter to US$ 94.0 million, and 84% year-on-year to $275.1 million.

    • Operating performance consistently in line with ESG KPIs.

  • Perseus’s strong operating performance is forecast to continue with production of 230,000 to 265,000 ounces at an ASIC of US$915 to US$1,085 per ounce planned in the June 2022 Half Year, translating to 471,000 to 506,000 ounces at an ASIC of US$932 to US$1,020 per ounce for the full 2022 Financial Year.

  • Business development activities continued to deliver encouraging results, demonstrating potential to materially increase Perseus’s Ore Reserves inventory and extend the economic mine lives of its operations:

    • Exploration programmes on the Nkosuo prospect near Edikan and the CMA Underground prospect at Yaouré both returned excellent drill results, confirming the potential for strong organic growth of each mine.

    • Assessment of inorganic growth opportunities continue to generate encouraging results.

  • Perseus’s financial position continues to strengthen with available cash and bullion of US$212 million (A$292 million), debt of US$50 million (A$68 million), and net cash of US$162 million (A$269 million) at 31 December 2021, after returning US$13 million (A$18 million) of capital to shareholders, reducing debt by US$50 million (A$68 million) and investing US$11 million (A$15 million) in organic growth during the quarter.

OPERATIONS

QUARTERLY PRODUCTION, COSTS AND NOTIONAL CASHFLOW

Perseus’s three operating gold mines, Yaouré and Sissingué in Côte d’Ivoire, and Edikan in Ghana have combined to produce a total of 128,378 ounces of gold in the December 2021 quarter, 14% more than in the prior quarter. The weighted average production cost at the operations was US$823 per ounce, while the weighted average AISC incurred during the quarter was US$934 per ounce of gold. Production costs and AISC’s were 4% and 3% respectively, lower than comparative costs in the previous quarter.

This performance contributed to Half Yearly gold production at our three mines of 241,164 ounces of gold, produced at an average AISC of US$949 per ounce. This strong performance compared favourably to market guidance for the Half Year of 225,000 to 255,000 ounces of gold produced at an AISC of US$925 to 1,025 per ounce and has positioned Perseus to achieve our corporate objective of producing more than 500,000 ounces of gold at a margin of greater than US$400 per ounce in FY2022.

Table 1: Cost and Production Summary by Mine

MINE

TOTAL GOLD PRODUCED (OUNCES)

ALL-IN SITE COST (US$/OUNCE)

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

SEPTEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

Yaouré

64,558

75,189

139,747

671

700

687

Edikan

32,161

35,124

67,285

1,574

1,450

1,509

Sissingué

16,067

18,065

34,132

931

905

917

Perseus Group

112,786

128,378

241,164

966

934

949

Combined gold sales from all three operations totalled 130,486 ounces, 21% more than last quarter. The weighted average gold price realised was US$1,669 per ounce, slightly better than the price received in the September 2021 quarter. Perseus’s average cash margin for the December 2021 quarter was US$735 per ounce, US$46 per ounce or 7% more than that achieved during the September 2021 quarter. Notional operating cashflow from operations was US$94.3 million, US$16.5 million or 21% more than that generated in the prior period, driven by quarter-on-quarter production growth of 14%, derived largely from improved production performance at all three mines, combined with improved AISCs at Sissingué and Edikan.

Table 2: Realised Gold Price and Notional Cash Flow by Mine

MINE

REALISED GOLD PRICE
(US$ PER OUNCE)

NOTIONAL CASH FLOW FROM OPERATIONS
(US$ MILLION)

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

Yaouré

1,690

1,699

1,695

65.8

75.1

140.9

Edikan

1,602

1,613

1,608

0.9

5.7

6.6

Sissingué

1,624

1,638

1,631

11.1

13.2

24.3

Perseus Group

1,655

1,669

1,663

77.8

94.0

171.8

YAOURÉ GOLD MINE, CÔTE D’IVOIRE

During the quarter, Perseus’s newest mine, Yaouré, increased its gold production by a further 16% compared to the prior quarter to 75,189 ounces of gold at a production cost of US$589 per ounce and an AISC of US$700 per ounce. The weighted average sales price of the 79,669 ounces of gold sold during the quarter was US$1,699 per ounce, giving rise to a cash margin of US$999 per ounce. Notional operating cashflow generated by Yaouré was US$75.1 million during the quarter, US$9.3 million more than in the September 2021 quarter. Refer to Table 3 below for details of operating and financial parameters.

This performance contributed to half yearly gold production at Yaouré of 139,747 ounces of gold, produced at an average AISC of US$687 per ounce which compared favourably to market guidance for the half year of 130,000 to 140,000 ounces of gold produced at an AISC of US$675 to US$775 per ounce.

The improving operating performance at Yaouré was a result of strong operating fundamentals compared to the prior quarter, including mill throughput rates (487 tph compared to 449 tph), gold recovery rates (93.6% compared to 92.7%) and importantly, the head grade of processed ore (2.64 g/t to 2.37 g/t).

Table 3: Yaouré Quarterly Performance

PARAMETER

UNIT

CALENDAR
2020 YEAR

JUNE 2021
HALF YEAR2

SEPTEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

2021 CALENDAR
YEAR TO DATE2

Gold Production & Sales

Total material mined

Tonnes

6,449,440

16,979,488

6,340,478

9,870,283

16,210,761

33,190,249

Total ore mined

Tonnes

128,148

659,620

1,070,285

1,378,535

2,448,820

3,108,440

Average ore grade

g/t gold

0.78

1.23

2.07

1.98

2.02

1.85

Strip ratio

t:t

49.3

24.74

4.92

6.16

5.62

9.68

Ore milled

Tonnes

122,545

1,462,177

913,530

946,052

1,859,582

3,321,759

Milled head grade

g/t gold

1.01

1.40

2.37

2.64

2.51

2.02

Gold recovery

%

67.7

90.01

92.7

93.6

93.2

92.3

Gold produced

ounces

2,687

59,438

64,558

75,189

139,747

199,185

Gold sales1

ounces

-

54,182

60,055

79,669

139,724

193,906

Average sales price

US$/ounce

-

1,692

1,690

1,699

1,695

1,694

Unit Production Costs

Mining cost

US$/t mined

-

2.71

2.95

2.56

2.71

2.71

Processing cost

US$/t milled

-

9.90

13.74

13.52

13.63

11.99

G & A cost

US$M/month

-

1.70

1.89

2.08

1.99

1.89

All-In Site Cost

Production cost

US$/ounce

-

951

572

589

581

659

Royalties

US$/ounce

-

83

85

90

87

86

Sub-total

US$/ounce

-

1,033

657

679

669

745

Sustaining capital

US$/ounce

-

3

14

21

18

15

Total All-In Site Cost3

US$/ounce

-

1,036

671

700

687

760

Notional Cashflow from Operations2

Cash Margin

US$/ounce

-

648

1,019

999

1,008

934

Notional Cash Flow

US$M

-

24.2

65.8

75.1

140.9

165.1

Notes:
1. Gold sales are recognised in Perseus’s accounts when gold is delivered to the customer from Perseus’s metal account
2. Includes Yaouré data from declaration of Commercial Production on 31 March 2021.
3. Included in the AISC for the quarter is US$6.91 million of costs relating to excess waste stripping. When reporting cost of sales, in line with accepted practice under IFRS, this cost will be capitalised and the costs amortised over the remainder of the relevant pit life.

MINERAL RESOURCE TO MILL RECONCILIATION

The reconciliation of processed ore tonnes, grade and contained gold relative to the Yaouré Mineral Resource block model are shown in Table 4. During the last quarter, 17% more ore tonnes at 10% lower grade for 6% more ounces have been produced compared to the Mineral Resource model. Over the last six months and project to-date, Yaouré has produced more metal than predicted by the Mineral Resource model. The performance of the Yaouré Mineral Resource model to date is considered satisfactory, however work will continue to optimise the grade and reduce dilution.

Table 4: Yaouré Block Model to Mill Reconciliation

PARAMETER

BLOCK MODEL TO MILL CORRELATION FACTOR

3 MONTHS

6 MONTHS

PROJECT
TO DATE

Tonnes of Ore

117

%

114

%

109

%

Head Grade

90

%

97

%

99

%

Contained Gold

106

%

110

%

108

%

SISSINGUÉ GOLD MINE, CÔTE D’IVOIRE

During the quarter, 18,065 ounces of gold were produced at Sissingué at a production cost of US$817 per ounce and an AISC of US$905 per ounce. The weighted average sales price of the 16,621 ounces of gold sold during the quarter was US$1,638 per ounce, giving rise to a cash margin of US$732 per ounce. Notional cashflow generated from the Sissingué operation totalled US$13.2 million for the quarter, US$ 2.1 million more than in the prior quarter, due to a combination of improved production, costs and average gold sale prices. Refer to Table 5 below for details of operating and financial parameters.

This performance contributed to half yearly gold production at Sissingué of 34,132 ounces of gold, produced at an average AISC of US$917 per ounce. This outstanding performance materially exceeded market guidance for the half year of 25,000 to 30,000 ounces of gold produced at an AISC of US$950 to US$1,070 per ounce.

The overall result for the quarter at Sissingué, was also better than forecast by Perseus with each of the key operating parameters including runtime (95%), throughput rate (178 tph), and recovery (90%) improving relative to the prior quarter. Average head grade (1.67g/t) was down relative to the prior quarter in line with company expectations.

Table 5: Sissingué Quarterly Performance

PARAMETER

UNIT

CALENDAR
2020 YEAR

JUNE 2021
HALF YEAR

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
QUARTER

DECEMBER 2021
HALF YEAR

CALENDAR
2021 YEAR

Gold Production & Sales

Total material mined

Tonnes

5,144,335

1,738,136

395,727

706,459

1,102,186

2,840,322

Total ore mined

Tonnes

1,681,633

851,552

162,912

186,063

348,975

1,200,527

Average ore grade

g/t gold

2.20

2.13

1.52

0.87

1.17

1.85

Strip ratio

t:t

2.1

1.0

1.4

2.8

2.2

1.4

Ore milled

Tonnes

1,349,807

596,416

299,757

375,615

675,372

1,271,788

Milled head grade

g/t gold

2.41

2.70

1.91

1.67

1.78

2.23

Gold recovery

%

94.9

92.6

87.1

89.8

88.5

90.9

Gold produced

ounces

99,268

48,763

16,067

18,065

34,132

82,895

Gold sales1

ounces

95,765

55,519

18,250

16,621

34,870

90,389

Average sales price

US$/ounce

1,606

1,670

1,624

1,638

1,630

1,655

Unit Production Costs

Mining cost

US$/t mined

4.72

6.20

9.62

6.80

7.81

6.80

Processing cost

US$/t milled

15.98

18.8

19.4

16.90

18.01

18.40

G & A cost

US$M/month

1.05

1.05

1.24

1.20

1.22

1.14

All-In Site Cost1

Production cost

US$/ounce

589

580

830

817

823

680

Royalties

US$/ounce

79

107

94

85

89

100

Sub-total

US$/ounce

668

687

924

902

912

780

Sustaining capital

US$/ounce

24

28

7

3

5

18

Total All-In Site Cost

US$/ounce

692

715

931

905

917

798

Notional Cashflow from Operations1

Cash Margin

US$/ounce

927

956

693

732

713

856

Notional Cash Flow

US$M

92.0

46.6

11.1

13.2

24.3

71.0

Notes: 1. Gold sales are recognised in Perseus’s accounts when gold is delivered to the customer from Perseus’s metal account.

MINERAL RESOURCE TO MILL RECONCILIATION

The reconciliation of processed ore tonnes, grade and contained ounces relative to the Sissingué Mineral Resource block model is in Table 6 below. During the last three months, grade control has predicted similar tonnes (100%) grade (99%) and ounces (99%) when compared to the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE). Over the last six- and 12-month periods of operation, Sissingué has produced more metal than predicted by the Mineral Resource model. Perseus regards the overall outperformance as being within normal industry standards.

Table 6: Sissingué Block Model to Mill Reconciliation

PARAMETER

BLOCK MODEL TO MILL CORRELATION FACTOR

3 MONTHS

6 MONTHS

1 YEAR

Tonnes of Ore

100

%

116

%

108

%

Head Grade

99

%

105

%

103

%

Contained Gold

99

%

121

%

107

%

UPDATED LIFE OF MINE PLAN FOR THE SISSINGUÉ OPERATION

An updated Life of Mine Plan for the Sissingué operation that models the mining and processing of ore from each of the Sissingué, Fimbiasso and the yet to be granted, Bagoé exploitation permit areas, is being prepared and will be published in the June 2022 quarter when the results of a recent successful drilling campaign in and around the existing Sissingué pits are fully collated, understood and incorporated into the revised mine plan and processing schedule. Based on preliminary optimisations and scheduling, it indicates that the life of the Sissingué operation could be extended by several years. Current work is focusing on the sequencing of mining to optimise the return on the investment of capital required to access the new mining areas.

BAGOÉ MINING LEASE

Work by consultants (CECAF), on preparing an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Bagoé exploration permit area was completed during the quarter. The ESIA has been lodged with the environmental regulator (ANDE) for approval. Once approval is granted, it will be lodged with the Department of Mines, Petroleum and Energy together with the recently completed Definitive Feasibility Study of an operation located on the Bagoé exploration permit. This is expected to occur during the June 2022 quarter and an Exploitation Permit should be granted once assessment of the submissions is complete.

EDIKAN GOLD MINE, GHANA

In the December 2021 quarter, Perseus produced 35,124 ounces of gold at Edikan (9% more than in the September quarter) at a production cost of US$1,327 per ounce and an AISC of US$1,450 per ounce. Gold sales of 34,196 ounces were 17% more than in the prior quarter, at a weighted average realised gold price of US$1,613 per ounce. This generated a cash margin of US$163 per ounce, a significant improvement on the prior quarter. Notional cashflow of US$5.7 million, was US$4.8 million better than in the prior period. Table 7 below summarises the key operating and financial parameters.

While the overall performance of Edikan was materially better than in the September quarter, there is still significant room for improvement. Signs of this improvement were evident in the month of December when the mill feed was made up predominantly of ore from the AG Pit which resulted in the head grade of ore treated increasing sharply to 0.86g/t on average and the gold recovery rate increasing to 86.2%.

This quarterly performance contributed to Half Yearly gold production at Edikan of 67,285 ounces of gold, produced at an average AISC of US$1,509 per ounce. This performance fell short of market guidance for the Half Year of 70,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold produced at an AISC of US$1,350 to 1,450 per ounce.

The shortfall in production relative to guidance was a function of several factors including poor reconciliation of tonnes and grade of ore mined from the AG pit in the September 2021 quarter and a conscious decision by Perseus to process ore from low grade ore stockpiles during the December quarter until a comprehensive grade control programme could be completed to provide a thorough understanding of the distribution of gold bearing material in the upper benches of the pit. As noted above, in December a marked improvement in head grade and recovery of ore had been achieved giving confidence in forecasts for future periods.

Table 7: Edikan Quarterly Performance

PARAMETER

UNIT

CALENDAR
2020 YEAR

JUNE 2021
HALF YEAR

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER
2021
HALF YEAR

CALENDAR
2021 YEAR

Gold Production & Sales

Total material mined

Tonnes

27,056,108

14,829,935

7,823,678

7,589,717

15,413,395

30,243,330

Total ore mined

Tonnes

4,379,485

1,968,783

788,612

836,266

1,624,878

3,593,661

Average ore grade

g/t gold

1.24

1.08

0.92

0.90

0.91

1.01

Strip ratio

t:t

5.2

6.5

8.9

8.1

8.5

7.4

Ore milled

Tonnes

6,787,946

3,280,435

1,731,146

1,756,072

3,487,218

6,767,653

Milled head grade

g/t gold

1.01

0.93

0.72

0.73

0.73

0.82

Gold recovery

%

71.7

85.0

80.2

85.6

83.0

84.1

Gold produced

ounces

158,090

83,045

32,161

35,124

67,285

150,330

Gold sales1

ounces

169,362

84,412

29,345

34,196

63,541

147,953

Average sales price

US$/ounce

1,564

1602

1,602

1,613

1,608

1,604

Unit Production Costs

Mining cost

US$/t mined

3.13

3.22

3.36

3.45

3.41

3.32

Processing cost

US$/t milled

9.05

9.60

8.56

8.23

8.39

8.98

G & A cost

US$M/month

1.64

1.39

1.78

2.04

1.89

1.63

All-In Site Cost2

Production cost

US$/ounce

1,048

1,054

1,445

1,327

1,383

1,201

Royalties

US$/ounce

107

106

98

105

102

104

Sub-total

US$/ounce

1,155

1,160

1,543

1,432

1,485

1,305

Sustaining capital

US$/ounce

42

53

32

18

24

40

Total All-In Site Cost2

US$/ounce

1,197

1,213

1,574

1,450

1,509

1,345

Notional Cashflow from Operations1

Cash Margin

US$/ounce

370

389

28

163

98

259

Notional Cash Flow

US$M

58.4

32.3

0.9

5.7

6.6

38.9

Notes:
1. Gold sales are recognised in Perseus’s accounts when gold is delivered to the customer from Perseus’s metal account.
2. Included in the AISC for the quarter is US$8.49 million of costs relating to excess waste stripping. When reporting cost of sales, in line with accepted practice under IFRS, this cost will be capitalised and the costs amortised over the remainder of the relevant pit life.

MINERAL RESOURCE TO MILL RECONCILIATION

The disconnect in the Edikan reconciliation has been analysed in detail to understand the performance to ensure that the trend will not continue in the Stage 3 cutback of the AG Pit. From the work undertaken, it is apparent that the large block size in the resource model (20 metres x 20 metres x 10 metres) is the cause of the issue whilst mining around an existing cutback void. Material that is present in the large block has already been partially mined in the previous Stage 2 pit, which was the higher-grade part of the large block. Overall, the pit continues to reconcile well, however this section of the cutback is strongly affected by this circumstance. The pit mining is within 10 metres of reaching the previous cutback base, and from here it is expected the reconciliation will revert to previous correlation of ~95%-105% overall.

Additional drilling has been undertaken this quarter to confirm the continuity of the grade and geology. The drilling assays returned emulated the block model grades giving good confidence in the ongoing cutback ore content and has enhanced the geological model. The Edikan Block Model to mill reconciliation figures are shown in Table 8 below.

Table 8: Edikan Block Model to Mill Reconciliation

PARAMETER

BLOCK MODEL TO MILL CORRELATION FACTOR

3 MONTHS

6 MONTHS

1 YEAR

Tonnes of Ore

78

%

87

%

89

%

Head Grade

81

%

84

%

87

%

Contained Gold

63

%

73

%

77

%

GROUP GOLD PRODUCTION AND COST MARKET GUIDANCE

Table 9: Production and Cost Guidance

PARAMETER

UNITS

DECEMBER 2021 HALF YEAR
(ACTUAL)

JUNE 20212 HALF YEAR
(FORECAST)

2022 FINANCIAL YEAR
(FORECAST)

Yaouré Gold Mine

Production

Ounces

139,747

130,000 - 140,000

269,747 - 279,747

All-in Site Cost

USD per ounce

687

765 to 815

725 to 750

Sissingué Gold Mine

Production

Ounces

34,133

25,000 to 35,000

59,133 – 69,133

All-in Site Cost

USD per ounce

917

810 to 1,280

872 to 1,100

Edikan Gold Mine

Production

Ounces

67,284

75,000 to 90,000

142,284 – 157,284

All-in Site Cost

USD per ounce

1,509

1,210 to 1,430

1,350 to 1,465

PERSEUS GROUP

Production

Ounces

241,164

230,000 to 265,000

471,164 – 506,164

All-in Site Cost

USD per ounce

949

915 to 1,085

932 to 1,020

SUSTAINABILITY

COVID-19 UPDATE

A fourth wave of COVID-19 has spread across West Africa during the quarter, with higher infection rates consistent with the Omicron variant. In response, Perseus continued to update its COVID-19 critical controls, with focus on keeping its people safe and healthy, maintaining safe and stable operations, and supporting host governments and local communities. Although around 190 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded across the Company’s operations since the beginning of the pandemic, no cases have led to serious illness and our controls have been effective in limiting the spread in our workforce.

During the quarter 60 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded, mainly at the Edikan and Yaouré operations and almost all in the month of December. Vaccination campaigns progressed across our operations, and with increased vaccine availability across the region, around 50 per cent of Perseus’s employees and contractors are now fully vaccinated. Efforts continue to improve vaccination rates as they become available under government programs.

SUSTAINABILITY GOVERNANCE

During the quarter, Perseus continued to strengthen its sustainability governance by:

  • Releasing the second Modern Slavery Statement in line with the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, providing further information on the human rights risk profile of Perseus’s global supply chain, and outlining its human rights and modern slavery due diligence program.

  • Commencing a global project to transform Perseus’s health and safety approach and performance across the operations in line with international best practice, focusing on leadership, culture, capability and risk management. The work will be delivered throughout the remainder of FY22 and FY23.

  • Commencing an independent review of closure plans and cost estimates, to be completed by the end of Q3.

  • Updating security risk assessments at Sissingué due to the increased terrorism risks in countries to the north of Côte d’Ivoire associated with activity of Jihadist groups in the Sahel region.

SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE

This quarter, Perseus continued its strong sustainability performance relative to objectives and targets, as shown below in Table 10 and summarised as follows:

  • Safety: Perseus’s record of zero fatalities across the operations was maintained, and safety performance improved significantly from the previous quarter at Edikan and Sissingué, with Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rates (TRIFR) to the end of December 1.36 and 0.0 respectively. The TRIFR across the Group was 1.49, a significant improvement on the September quarter and our FY21 performance, however still higher than our FY22 target of 1.3. Sissingué achieved 1 year without a recordable incident, and Edikan was awarded the Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety during the 7th Ghana Mining Industry Awards, established by the Ghana Chamber of Mines.

  • Social:

    • Total economic contribution to Perseus’s host countries of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire for the financial year to date of around US$223 million (around 60% of revenue), included approximately US$166 million paid to local suppliers, US$21 million paid as salaries and wages to local employees, US$35 million in payments to government as taxes, royalties and other payments, and around US$591,000 in social investment.

    • Local and national employment has been maintained at above 95% for the quarter, and local procurement around 81%.

    • Zero significant community events occurred.

  • Environment:

    • Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions remained steady from the first quarter. Water intensity increased slightly due to dry season conditions across the region.

    • As part of development of Perseus’s emissions reduction strategy, two vendors were shortlisted to support further detailed studies to partially replace the diesel fired back-up generators at Yaouré with solar power.

    • Zero environmental events or significant tailings dam integrity issues occurred during the period.

In achieving the above, the following sustainability challenges were encountered by Perseus during the quarter:

  • Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rates (TRIFR) at Yaouré increased from 3.24 in the September quarter to 3.49, tracking significantly higher than its FY21 result of 1.59 and higher than its FY22 target of 2.2. Given its performance and the significant work required to embed Perseus’s Health and Safety standards at this new operation, Yaouré will be the primary focus of the Health and Safety improvement program for the remainder of FY22.

  • Government administrative delays to the establishment of the Yaouré Community Development Fund, and associated delays to commencement of community projects. Perseus is working with Government to establish the fund as soon as possible, and community funding is being accumulated in an account each month since commercial production was achieved at Yaouré.

  • Illegal mining activities on Perseus’s mining and exploration licence areas continues to present challenges for the Company in both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The Company continues to work closely with relevant government authorities to manage these activities that have proven to negatively impact both the environmental and social fabric of local communities.

  • Ongoing tensions with the community around Yaouré regarding employment and business opportunities and land compensation.

  • Security risks at Sissingué and satellite exploration activity areas (Fimbiasso and Bagoé) are being closely monitored due to ongoing political and social unrest which has given rise to terrorist activities in Mali which lies immediately to the north of the Sissingué mine.

Table 10: Sustainability Quarterly Performance

PERFORMANCE DRIVER

SUB-AREA

METRIC

UNIT

FY2021

SEP 2021 QUARTER

DEC 2021 QUARTER

Governance

Compliance

Material legal non-compliance

Number

0

0

0

Social

Worker Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Workplace fatalities

Number

0

0

0

Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF)

Total Recordable Injuries per million hours worked, rolling 12 months

Edikan - 1.49
Sissingué - 1.47
Yaouré - 1.59
Exploration - 1.92
Group - 1.76

Edikan - 1.89
Sissingué - 0.50
Yaouré - 3.24
Exploration - 2.80
Group - 1.85

Edikan - 1.36
Sissingué - 0.00
Yaouré - 3.49
Exploration - 2.01
Group - 1.49

Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIFR)

Lost Time Injuries (LTIFR) per million hours worked, rolling 12 months

Edikan - 0.37
Sissingué - 0.00
Yaouré - 1.59
Exploration - 0.00
Group - 0.45

Edikan - 0.38
Sissingué - 0.00
Yaouré - 0.991
Exploration - 1.40
Group - 0.46

Edikan - 0.39
Sissingué - 0.00
Yaouré - 0.76
Exploration - 1.00
Group - 0.46

COVID-19 Cases

Number

24

66

60

Community

Number of significant2 community events

Number

21

0

0

Community investment

US$

US$2,100,888

US$310,8991

US$279,743

Economic Benefit

Proportion local and national employment

% of total employees

95%

95%

96%

Proportion local and national procurement

% of total procurement

81%

74%

81%

Gender Diversity

Board gender diversity

%

33%

33%

33%

Executive gender diversity

%

40%

40%

40%

Proportion of women employees

%

14.7%3

13.8%3

12.0%3

Responsible Operations

Environment

Number of significant2 environmental events

Number

0

0

0

Tailings

Number of significant2 tailings dam integrity failures

Number

0

0

0

Water stewardship

Water used per ounce of gold produced

M3/oz

13.8

6.91

8.05

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions per ounce of gold produced

Tonnes of CO2-e/oz

0.63

0.57

0.57

Notes:

  1. Corrected/re-stated figure from the September 2021 Quarter report

  2. A significant event is one with an actual severity rating of four and above, based on Perseus's internal severity rating scale (tired from one to five by increasing severity) as defined in our Risk Management Framework

  3. Permanent employees only.

BUSINESS GROWTH

CÔTE D’IVOIRE EXPLORATION

YAOURÉ EXPLORATION & EXPLOITATION PERMITS

Exploration activities during the quarter on the Yaouré exploitation permit focused on drilling at the CMA underground and CMA Down-dip Extension prospects, both within two kilometres of the Yaouré mill. Other programs included auger drilling at Degbezere (Appendix 1 – Figure 1.1). In all, 7,828 metres of RC and 23,398 metres of diamond core were drilled at CMA and CMA Down-dip during the quarter.

Work at the CMA Underground prospect focused on infill drilling to firm up previously defined underground resources extending below the currently planned CMA pit. Perseus defined an Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.8 million tonnes grading 6.1 g/t Au, extending to a maximum 275 metre down dip beneath the open pit resource (refer Resources and Reserves ASX announcement dated 24 August 2021), with potential to extend mineralisation further down dip beyond this (Appendix 1 – Figure 1.2). Perseus has also completed a Scoping Study that identified the potential to mine the CMA structure using underground mining methods (refer to ASX Release Perseus Mining Completes Scoping Study for Potential Underground Mine at Yaouré’ dated 5 November 2018).

Drilling on the CMA structure expanded towards the northern end, beyond the drilling during the previous quarter that focused on the lower grade southern end of the structure due to operational demands. Drilling during the quarter comprised 21,015 metres in 67 Reverse Circulation (“RC”) pre-collared diamond (“DD”) holes, continuing the infill of the existing 50 x 50 metre coverage to a nominal 25 x 25 metre pattern to allow conversion of the Inferred resource to Indicated. Results to date from the infill drilling program have been encouraging, with intercepts generally consistent with those previously encountered in both thickness and grade.

Step-out drilling to investigate the next 300 metre down-dip from the current CMA Underground resource also continued, with 10,211 metres drilled in 18 RC pre-collared DD holes focused in the area around the explosives magazine. The step-out program is guided by the 2020 3D seismic survey that clearly identified the CMA structure extending to depth beyond the current drill coverage. Drilling is being undertaken on an initial 100 x 200 metre pattern to better define the position of the CMA structure and the intensity of mineralisation. If results are encouraging, this will be infilled to 100 x 100 metres to allow an initial Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate. The results from the CMA Underground infill and extension drilling continue to demonstrate the potential for the Company to materially grow its gold inventory at Yaouré organically, as is more fully detailed in the Company’s ASX release dated 19 January 2022 High Grade Results Continue at Perseus’s Yaouré Gold Mine’.

On the Yaouré West exploration permit auger geochemical drilling was undertaken along the Degbezere NE trend, with 732 metres drilled in 81 holes. The augering covers the Degbezere Shear Zone, a structural target identified highlighted in soil geochemistry, airborne geophysical surveys and the 2D seismic line surveyed in 2020.

Results from the Aircore (“AC”) program conducted in the previous quarter were received but with generally negative results.

BAGOÉ EXPLORATION PERMIT

Limited drilling was conducted on the Bagoé permit during the December Quarter, with 4,619 metres drilled in 102 metres of infill AC along the Bagoé Shear Zone at Antoinette South. Assays were received from both this program and from AC and RC drilling completed during the previous quarter at the Veronique South and SE, Juliette, A-J Gap and Brigitte prospects (Appendix 1 – Figures 1.2 & 1.3). The results from these programs were generally disappointing, with mostly narrow, low-grade intercepts being recorded.

In addition to the drilling, ground magnetic surveys were conducted over the Ludivine and Brigitte areas, data from which is being assessed.

GHANA

AGYAKUSU OPTION

Exploration drilling continued throughout the December quarter at the Nkosuo prospect on the Agyakusu permit north of the Company’s Edikan Gold Mine (Appendix 1 – Figure 1.4). A total of 16,202 metres was drilled in 37 RC holes, five DD holes and 44 RC pre-collared diamond holes (“RD”), bringing the total drilled at Nkosuo since drilling commenced on 1 July 2021 to 24,280 metres in 134 holes. Drilling continued on a nominal 80 x 80 metre grid to scope out the extent and overall geometry of the host granite and contained mineralisation and commenced local infill to 40 x 40 and 40 x 20 metres. As fully reported in the Company’s ASX announcement of 18 January 2022 ‘Perseus Achieves Near-mine Exploration Success in Ghana’, drilling continues to produce highly encouraging results, confirming strong potential for shallow gold resources capable of being mined using open pit methods, just seven kilometres from the Edikan mill.

Drilling now underway at Nkosuo will focus on extending 80 x 80 metre over the still open southern extension of the granite, completing the 40 x 40 metres coverage and ultimately infilling to 40 x 20 metres to support a planned Mineral Resource estimate to be completed early in the June 2022 quarter. Metallurgical testwork and geotechnical drilling has commenced to allow the evaluation of the Ore Reserve potential in the September Quarter of 2022, along with preliminary studies to meet the requirements of the ESIA process.

In anticipation that this work will lead to a positive outcome the Company is in the process of exercising its option over the Agyakusu permit.

AGYAKUSU-DML OPTION

A planned AC drilling program to test gold-in-soil anomalism along the main structural/intrusive corridor extending SW from the Nkosuo prospect on the adjoining Agyakusu permit has been deferred in favour of an initial lower impact auger program (Appendix 1 - Figure 1.4). This work will commence during the next quarter.

DOMENASE OPTION

Planned first-pass soil sampling covering the main structural/intrusive corridors on this property was delayed pending renewal of the permit and finalisation of a new option agreement.

EXPLORATION EXPENDITURE

Expenditure on exploration activities throughout West Africa up to 31 December 2021 is outlined in Table 11 below.

Table 11: Group Exploration Expenditure December Quarter

REGION

UNITS

CALENDAR
2020 YEAR

JUNE 2021
HALF YEAR

SEPTEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER
2021 QUARTER

DECEMBER
2021 HALF YEAR

CALENDAR
2021 YEAR

Ghana

US$ million

3.03

0.85

2.14

4.13

6.27

7.12

Côte d’Ivoire

Sissingué

US$ million

3.81

4.41

1.10

0.53

1.63

6.04

Yaouré

US$ million

11.65

5.95

4.16

6.09

10.25

16.20

Regional

US$ million

1.27

0.19

0.25

0.01

0.26

0.45

Sub-total

US$ million

16.73

10.55

5.52

6.62

12.14

22.69

Total West Africa

US$ million

19.76

11.40

7.66

10.75

18.42

29.82

GROUP FINANCIAL POSITION

CASHFLOW AND BALANCE SHEET (UNAUDITED)

Perseus achieved yet another strong quarter of cash generation, with a US$66.0 million increase in its overall net cash position (or cash plus bullion less interest-bearing debt) relative to the prior quarter. The Yaouré Gold Mine continued its strong cash generation performance, with comparable performance to Q1 achieved by Sissingué and a noticeable improvement by Edikan.

Based on the spot gold price of US$1,820.1 per ounce and an A$:US$ exchange rate of 0.726267 at 31 December 2021, the total value of cash and bullion on hand at the end of the quarter was A$292.0 million, (US$212.1 million) including cash of A$268.6 million (US$195.1 million) and 9,342 ounces of bullion on hand, valued at A$23.4 million (US$17.0 million). A debt repayment of A$68.3 million (US$50.0 million) was made during the quarter, reducing the principal amount owing to US$50.0 million.

The graph below (Figure 1) shows the notional operating cash flows from the three mines, the largest single driver of cash movement, and how this compares historically over the past 2 years. Note that “Notional Operating Cash Flow” is obtained by multiplying average sales price less AISC (the “notional margin”) by the ounces of gold recovered.

Figure 1: Notional Operating Cashflow is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a392e58b-8f3a-4201-a0b3-b32765c9365c

The overall movement in cash and bullion during the quarter is shown below in Figure 2. Aside from the operating margin, other relevant movements are, Australian and West African corporate costs (A$6.7 million), business growth (A$14.8 million), debt service and other finance costs (A$70.3 million), other capex (A$3.9 million), tax instalment (A$1.1 million), and a dividend payment to our shareholders (A$18.2 million).

Figure 2: Quarterly Cash and Bullion Movements is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0787d92f-c94f-4a8e-9995-d49262cb0983

GOLD PRICE HEDGING

At the end of the quarter, Perseus held gold forward sales contracts for 209,657 ounces of gold at a weighted average sales price of US$1,685 per ounce. These hedges are designated for delivery progressively over the period up to 30 June 2023. Perseus also held spot deferred sales contracts for a further 91,637 ounces of gold at a weighted average sales price of US$1,712 per ounce. Combining both sets of sales contracts, Perseus’s total hedged position at the end of the quarter was 301,294 ounces at a weighted average sales price of US$1,693 per ounce.

Perseus’s hedge position has increased by 672 ounces since the end of the September 2021 quarter. As a result of our policy of replacing lower priced hedges with higher priced hedge contracts when possible, the weighted average sales price of the hedge book increased by US$51 per ounce or 3.1% during the quarter.

Hedging contracts currently provide downside price protection to approximately 21% of Perseus’s currently forecast gold production for the next three years, leaving 79% of forecast production potentially exposed to movements (both up and down) in the gold price.

March 2022 quarter Announcements

This market announcement was authorised for release by the board of Perseus Mining Limited.

COMPETENT PERSON STATEMENT:

All production targets referred to in this report are underpinned by estimated Ore Reserves which have been prepared by competent persons in accordance with the requirements of the JORC Code.

Edikan. The information in this report that relates to AF Gap Mineral Resources and Ore Reserve estimate was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 26 August 2020. The information in this report that relates to the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates for the Fetish deposit and the Heap Leach was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Edikan Gold Mine’s Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 20 February 2020. The Mineral Reserve and Ore Reserve estimates for the abovementioned deposits were updated for depletion as at 30 June 2021 in a market announcement. “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 24 August 2021. The information in this report that relates to Esuajah North Mineral Resources estimate was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 29 August 2018. The information in this report that relates to the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates for Esuajah South Underground deposit was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 24 August 2021. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affect the information in those market releases and that all material assumptions underpinning those estimates and the production targets, or the forecast financial information derived therefrom, continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company further confirms that material assumptions underpinning the estimates of Ore Reserves described in “Technical Report — Central Ashanti Gold Project, Ghana” dated 30 May 2011 continue to apply.

Sissingué, Fimbiasso, Bagoé. The information in this report that relates to Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates for the Fimbiasso deposits was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 26 August 2020. The information in this report that relates to Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates for the Sissingué and Bagoé deposits was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 24 August 2021. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affect the information in these market releases and that all material assumptions underpinning those estimates and the production targets, or the forecast financial information derived therefrom, continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company further confirms that material assumptions underpinning the estimates of Ore Reserves described in “Technical Report — Sissingué Gold Project, Côte d’Ivoire” dated 29 May 2015 continue to apply.

Yaouré. The information in this report that relates to Open Pit and Heap Leach Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves at Yaouré was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 28 August 2019 and updated for mining depletion as at 30 June 2021 in a market announcement released on 24 August 2021. The information in this report that relates to Underground Mineral Resources at Yaouré was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Completes Scoping Study for Potential Underground Mine at Yaouré” released on 5 November 2018 and adjusted to exclude material lying within the US$1,800/oz pit shell that constrains the Open Pit Mineral Resources in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 28 August 2019. The information in this report that relates to the Yaouré near mine satellite deposit Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates was first reported by the Company in a market announcement “Perseus Mining Updates Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” released on 24 August 2021. The Company confirms that all material assumptions underpinning those estimates and the production targets, or the forecast financial information derived therefrom, in that market release continue to apply and have not materially changed. The Company further confirms that material assumptions underpinning the estimates of Ore Reserves described in “Technical Report — Yaouré Gold Project, Côte d’Ivoire” dated 18 December 2017 continue to apply.

The information in this report relating to exploration results was first reported by the Company in compliance with the JORC Code 2012 and NI43-101 in market updates “Perseus Achieves Near-Mine Exploration Success in Ghana” released on 18 January 2022 and “High Grade Results Continue at Yaouré Gold Mine” released on 19 January 2022. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affect the information in these market releases.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION:

This report contains forward-looking information which is based on the assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management of the Company believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, but which may prove to be incorrect. Assumptions have been made by the Company regarding, among other things: the price of gold, continuing commercial production at the Yaouré Gold Mine, the Edikan Gold Mine and the Sissingué Gold Mine without any major disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, , the receipt of required governmental approvals, the accuracy of capital and operating cost estimates, the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner and the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which may have been used by the Company. Although management believes that the assumptions made by the Company and the expectations represented by such information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, the actual market price of gold, the actual results of current exploration, the actual results of future exploration, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's publicly filed documents. The Company believes that the assumptions and expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable. Assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the Company’s ability to carry on its exploration and development activities, the timely receipt of required approvals, the price of gold, the ability of the Company to operate in a safe, efficient and effective manner and the ability of the Company to obtain financing as and when required and on reasonable terms. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Perseus does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

ASX/TSX CODE: PRU

CAPITAL STRUCTURE:
Ordinary shares: 1,233,044,570
Performance rights: 21,325,392

REGISTERED OFFICE:

Level 2
437 Roberts Road
Subiaco WA 6008

Telephone: +61 8 6144 1700
Email: IR@perseusmining.com

www.perseusmining.com

DIRECTORS:

Mr Sean Harvey
Non-Executive Chairman

Mr Jeff Quartermaine
Managing Director & CEO

Ms Elissa Brown
Non-Executive Director

Mr Dan Lougher
Non-Executive Director

Mr John McGloin
Non-Executive Director

Mr David Ransom
Non-Executive Director

Amber Banfield
Non-Executive Director

CONTACTS:

Jeff Quartermaine
Managing Director & CEO
jeff.quartermaine@perseusmining.com

Claire Hall
Corporate Communications
+61 414 558 202
claire.hall@perseusmining.com

Nathan Ryan
Media Relations
+61 4 20 582 887
nathan.ryan@nwrcommunications.com.au

APPENDIX 1 – FIGURES

Figure 1.1: Yaouré Gold Project – Tenements and Prospects is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/23def5a2-87dc-4670-96f9-fd8b86944ce2

Figure 1.2: Sissingué Gold Mine and Bagoé Project – Tenements and Prospects is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7e2a7465-5f23-4b02-8645-d097932d760b

Figure 1.3: Bagoé Gold Project – Main Prospects is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c6b92576-b222-4bef-9637-24c5d9cac8dc

Figure 1.4: Edikan Gold Mine – Regional Geology, Tenements and Prospects is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7107066c-9f66-4c6f-a39d-ae8bf82073ed