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. Mining haul roads are established between the plant and the two main mining areas. Numerous gravel roads link villages throughout the project concessions providing access to all other parts of the property. 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.
The operation employs approximately 275 full time workers including both expatriate and local employees, plus 661 contractors, for a total of 936 operations workers. There is an extensive training program available for the local work force for the management 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.
Salman Village Resettlement
The development of the Nzema Gold Project required Endeavour to undertake the resettlement of the Salman Village, due to its close proximity to the proposed mining operations. The Salman Village resettlement was completed in March 2012.