The Youga Gold Mine is located approximately 180 kilometres southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso and is accessible by paved and laterite roads. Endeavour holds a 90% interest in Burkina Mining Company (BMC) which has been granted the rights to exploit the Youga Gold Deposit. The remaining 10% of BMC is held by the Government of Burkina Faso.
Youga commenced commercial production in mid-2008. Mining is carried out from several open pits with the ore being processed through a conventional gravity-CIL (carbon-in-leach) plant with a design capacity of one million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). At December 31, 2012, the Proven and Probable mineral reserves at Youga and Youga Satellites are 6.4 million tonnes at 1.9 g/t gold containing 380,000 ounces (on a project basis 100%). The Measured and Indicated mineral resources, inclusive of reserves, are 14.8 million tonnes at 1.5 g/t gold containing 692,000 ounces, plus Inferred resources of 1.5 million tonnes at 1.2 g/t gold containing 57,000 ounces (0.5 g/t cut-off grade). At a planned mill throughput of 1 Mtpa, the Youga mine life is currently 6 years. In January 2013 Endeavour delivered a PEA that showed potential to add three years to Youga's mine life by trucking ore from the Ouaré deposit, which is approximately 40 km away. Average gold recovery from the plant for life-of-mine is anticipated to remain steady at 93-94%. Gold production in 2012 was 91,030 ozs at a cash cost of US$678 per oz.
Youga is a hard rock, drill and blast mining operation. Drilling, blasting, and load haul is carried out under contract with PW Mining International Limited. Grid power is delivered to site from Ghana via a 21 kilometre transmission line. A complete backup diesel generated power supply capable of delivering 8 megawatts is at site. A year round supply of water is obtained from the Nakambe River via an 11 kilometre long pipeline to a raw water storage pond. The tailings area is designed to maximize water recovery in an effort to minimize the primary water demand.
Youga employs approximately 760 workers in total, including 380 full time Endeavour employees and 380 contractors, a reduction of 6% since the beginning of 2013. Most of the work force is local, with less than 4% of the total being expatriate workers. The Corporation is focused on training and development of the local employees for management and supervisory roles across the entire spectrum of its operational and commercial activities.