Denver-based Golden Star Resources (GSC-T) is closing out 2003 with better-than-expected output from its flagship Bogoso/Prestea open-pit mine in Ghana.
Once expected to produce 160,000 oz. in 2003 at a cash operating cost of US$175 per oz., the mine has in fact yielded 174,000 oz. at the same cost.
Golden Star has a 90% equity interest in the mine and the Ghanaian government has its usual 10% carried interest.
Golden Star acquired an initial 70% interest in the 145-sq. km Bogoso concessions in 1999 by buying 70% of Bogoso Gold. In 2001, Golden Star boosted its interest to 90% and picked up a 90% interest in the surface mining rights (to a depth of 200 metres) of the adjoining 129-sq.-km Prestea property.
Also in Ghana, 150 km west of Accra, Golden Star is building its 90%-owned Wassa gold mine, while a final feasibility study is ongoing.
Recent drilling has found a new zone of mineralization that should add to the proven and probable resource base of 14.4 million tonnes grading 1.67 grams gold per tonne that was delineated by the past owners of the property, who closed a failed heap-leach operation there a few years ago.
Golden Star reckons that its reserves at Bogoso-Prestea and Wassa will total 3.4 million contained oz. gold by the end of 2003, up from 2.2 million contained oz. gold at the end of 2002.
The company also reported the closing of its US$49.5-million, bought-deal equity offering, which placed 6.6 million shares at US$7.50 per share, with no warrants involved.
The shares were offered in Canada and the U.S. by a syndicate led by BMO Nesbitt Burns and Orion Securities and including Canaccord Capital, National Bank Financial, RBC Dominion Securities and their respective U.S. affiliates, and Westwind Partners.
Proceeds are earmarked for the Ghana assets.
Golden Star now has 116 million shares outstanding, for a market capitalization of $1.1 billion.
Beyond Ghana, Golden Star is gearing up to begin exploring its new gold ventures in Sierra Leone and Mali (T.N.M., Dec 8 – 14, 2003).
In Siera Leone, Golden Star to earn an initial 51% interest in several properties of London-based Mano River Resources (MNO-V) by spending US$6 million over four years.
In Mali, Golden Star can earn a 51% interest in the Mininko property of privately held Geo Services International by spending up to US$2.6 million, and an 82.5% interest, subject to certain conditions, by funding project development.