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Emerging African miner set to tip production at over 1 million ounces

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(Kitco News) - With Endeavour Mining's acquisition of SEMAFO last month, CEO Sébastien de Montessus said production should tip 1 million gold ounces.

Montessus spoke to Kitco on Tuesday. Endeavour (TSX:EDV) is a mid-tier west African gold miner. Montessus made headlines late last year when his company took a failed run at Centamin, offering $1.92 billion for the Egyptian gold miner.

Endeavour settled for SEMAFO. The acquisition was announced late March, and the transaction between the two companies should be completed within the next 1-2 months. Before the SEMAFO transaction, Montessus said Endeavour was targetting about 700,000 gold ounces of production.

Regarding COVID-19 containment, Endeavour said it had a "handful of employees" who tested positive back in March. The employees were quarantined. Endeavour also hired an epidemiologist to help develop protocols.

The top challenge when running a mining company while managing COVID-19 is mobility, said Montessus.

"The key challenge has been probably the movement of people, in particular with borders closing, so making sure that you have the right people on-site at any point in time," said Montessus.

Montessus previously worked at AREVA before coming to Endeavour.

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