Endeavour restarts gold mine in Burkina Faso, nearly a year after deadly attack

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Endeavour Mining, the biggest gold mining company in Burkina Faso, has restarted the Boungou mine in the east of the country which was shut by previous owner Semafo last November after an attack killed 39 civilians.

Endeavour, which bought Semafo in March, said on Thursday that mining operations at Boungou have successfully restarted after infrastructure improvements and a new security plan implemented in “close partnership” with Burkina’s government.

The Toronto-listed miner built an airstrip to fly staff from the capital Ouagadougou, and nearby city Fada-Ngourma, to the site. On-site employee housing was also expanded to house all local and expatriate employees during their rotation.

Workers at Boungou told Reuters last November that they had raised concerns about transport safety months before the ambush - the worst attack Burkina had seen in years - killed 39 colleagues.

“The Burkinabe government has created a dedicated unit assigned to work with Endeavour to ensure the overall security of the mine and the region,” Endeavour said on Thursday.

The Boungou plant has processed stockpiles since early 2020. Endeavour said it expects the mine to achieve the top half of its 2020 production guidance range of 130,000 ounces to 150,000 ounces of gold, at an all-in sustaining cost of $680 to $725 per ounce.

Endeavour said potential annual synergies from the acquisition will be $35 million to $40 million during its integration of Semafo. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Susan Fenton)