Nzema Gold Mine is located on the southern end of the Ashanti Gold Belt in south western Ghana, approximately 280km west of Ghana's capital city, Accra. Endeavour holds a 90% interest in the Nzema Gold Mine through Ghanaian subsidiaries. The remaining 10% is held by the Government of Ghana.
Nzema is accessible via 80km of road, most of which is paved, from the major port city of Takoradi, and is in close proximity to the major mining centre at Tarkwa. The proximity of the mine to other major mining centres and the port of Takoradi provides access to all necessary offsite infrastructure and industry service providers.
Nzema Gold Mine declared commercial production on April 1st, 2011. Mining is carried under contract with African Mining Services (AMS), with current production coming from a series of open pits located along an 8km portion of the Salman Trend and the Adamus pits, 8 km to the west of the plant. Significant deposits (from north to south) include Akanko, Salman North, Teberu, Nugget Hill, Salman Central and Salman South. In addition to the Salman deposit, the Adamus, Aliva, Nfutu and Bokrobo deposits are located to the west of the Salman Trend.
As of December 31, 2012 the Proven and Probable mineral reserves (100% basis) at Nzema were 13.0 million tonnes at 1.9 g/t containing 0.797 million ounces (on a project basis 100%). The Measured and Indicated mineral resources, inclusive of reserves, were 44.8 million tonnes at 1.3 g/t gold containing 1.9 million ounces, plus Inferred resources of 10.5 million tonnes at 1.2 g/t gold containing 0.4 million ounces (on a project basis 100%).
Ore is processed through a conventional gravity-CIL (carbon-in-leach) gold plant with a 3.5MW semi-autogenous grinding ("SAG") mill, a gravity circuit, and two counter current decant thickeners (for water and cyanide recovery) with a design capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per annum. Actual throughput ranges from 1.6 to 2.1 million tonnes per annum depending on ore hardness.
The operation is connected to the national power grid via a dedicated 33.5kV, 12.2km powerline from the Essiama Substation which is owned by the Corporation. Water is supplied by the Corporation's Ankobra River pipeline and stored in a water storage dam.
Nzema employs approximately 765 workers, including 220 full time Endeavour employees and 545 contractors, a reduction of 24% since the beginning of 2013 as operations reached steady state and cost reduction programs were initiated. Only three expatriates are employed at the mine, with most of the workers coming from local communities. There is extensive training provided for the local work force for both unskilled and skilled positions.
Gold produced for the twelve month period ended December 31, 2012 was 109,447 ounces at a total cash cost (excluding royalties) of $753 per ounce.