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Hummingbird bolstered by strong Mali performance, weathers Guinea challenges

An image showing operations at Hummingbird's mine in Mali

Yanfolila

4th June 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Aim-listed Hummingbird became a multi-asset, multi-jurisdiction gold producer in the full-year to December 31, with its Yanfolila mine, in Mali, performing strongly and meeting guidance, and the group achieving first gold production at Kouroussa mine, in Guinea, despite facing challenges in the ramp-up of mining operations, CEO and interim chairperson Dan Betts avers.

Yanfolila met its production guidance, producing 83 965 oz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1 331/oz sold, which has been adjusted under accounting measures.

The Kouroussa mine produced 6 068 oz of gold in the period despite unprecedented ramp-up challenges encountered during the period.

“Throughout the year, we upheld our strongly held environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, delivering safety improvements and community health initiatives, which I am personally very proud of,” Betts says.

The group achieved adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of about $200 000 for the fourth quarter of 2023 and a cumulative adjusted Ebitda of about $36.6-million for the full year.

Revenues totalled $167.1-million, including $7.7-million generated from the sale of single-mine origin (SMO) gold.

During the year, the company raised about $22.4-million (net of fees) of equity through two raises, with the group receiving the remaining $22.2-million of the second raise in January.

This funding cemented CIG, the company’s largest shareholder, as a strategic cornerstone partner for the company.

Diluted loss a share stood at $0.043.  

Total bank debt was $148.3-million, compared with $115.7-million as at December 31, 2022.

The group’s full-year 2023 lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) was 0.58 per million hours worked, better than the target of 1.20 LTIFR.

Post period, following the signing of a re-mobilisation agreement in May, Corica Mining Services operations have continued to ramp-up towards commercial production levels.

Mining has focused on a blended approach targeting both ore and waste stripping to optimise production throughout this year and beyond.

Betts says the start of this year has presented challenges, particularly at Kouroussa, with a fire at the main fuel depot in Guinea and an operational suspension by Corica.

“These events tested our team, but thanks to their dedication, strategic planning and our supportive partners, we continued to operate as we sought to find solutions.

“Looking ahead, our focus is on ramping up production at Kouroussa to become a midtier 200 000 oz/y gold producer. Additionally, our increased ownership of the Dugbe gold project, in Liberia, post year-end allows us to unlock this highly prospective asset's potential efficiently over the next year,” he avers.

PASOFINO
In a separate statement, Hummingbird notes the recent announcement by Pasofino Gold regarding the completion of its diamond core drilling programme at the Bukon Jedeh gold camp at the  Dugbe gold project.

Hummingbird holds a 53% shareholding in Pasofino, following the conversion of its controlling interest in Dugbe into a controlling interest in Pasofino, and an additional $2-million investment earlier this year.

Several of the holes contain multi-metre-wide intervals of pyroxene gneiss with sulphide minerals – this is noted as encouraging as gold at the nearby Tuzon and Dugbe F deposits is hosted by a similar lithology.

The programme targeted various sites, including key existing mining pits, historic drilling intersections, and new holes drilled to follow up on the most promising intervals, identified by the relative abundance of sulphide minerals, the company says.

Of particular interest is an apparent trend in the east of the area, now referred as the SPMC-99 Steps trend, a 1.5-km-long east-west zone potentially linking two of the most important pits in the area, not drilled before.

The drilling was completed on time and within budget.

Sampling is currently 50% complete, with the first batch of samples set to be sent to the laboratory by Pasofino in early June.

The results of the first batch are expected during July and will be reported as they become available. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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