Perseus still on track to slay full year earnings

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

While it was a mostly flat performance from Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) in the three months to March, the African-focused gold miner is still on track to easily top the half-million-ounce mark for the first time for a year, putting it comfortably ahead of 2021-22.

And with costs under forecast, production a touch higher and gold prices up sharply on 2021-22, Perseus looks like its heading for a banner year, with one quarter to go in 2022-23.

Perseus said in its March quarterly report on Wednesday that its three operating gold mines, Yaoure and Sissingue in Cote d’Ivoire, and Edikan in Ghana combined to produce 130,275 ounces of gold in the three months to March.

That was about steady with the March, 2022 quarter figure of 130,523 ounces and similar to the production figures for the September and December quarters of 2022.

Gold poured in the quarter saw a similar performance at 130,512 ounces.

For the first three quarters of 2022-23, Perseus said gold produced totalled 398,645 ounces and gold poured amounted to 401,057 ounces.

Assuming another quarter with production around the 130,000-ounce mark and a similar result for gold poured, Perseus will crack the half a million ounces a year mark by June 30 with production close to 530,000 ounces and gold poured just over 530,000 ounces.

That will put this financial year’s production around 350,000 ounces above 2021-22’s 494,014 ounces and gold poured around 40,000 ounces ahead of last financial year’s 490,536 ounces.

That will be on track to meet 2022-23 guidance for the year to June of 498,370 to 538,370 ounces.

That was at an All in Sustaining Cost of $US1,000 to $US1,1000 an ounce but the 9-month figure issued in Wednesday’s quarterly shows Perseus was beating that by a handy margin with the AISC for the 9 months to March this year of $US943 an ounce after a $US971 an ounce in the March quarter

In the March 2023 quarter, Perseus said combined gold sales totalled 135,111 ounces. The weighted average gold price realised was US$1,821 per ounce, US$73 per ounce more than the December 2022 quarter price of US$1,748 per ounce.

The average gold price for 2021-22 was US1,683 an ounce. The June quarter’s price should top the $US1,821 of the March quarter with prices above $US2,000 an ounce, meaning the company is looking at what could be a very strong year for profits.

Perseus said its strong operating performance is forecast to continue in the June 2023 quarter “with both gold production and cost guidance for the 2023 June Half Year and Financial Year, expected to be achieved.”

“Strong quarterly cashflows further strengthened Perseus’s financial position with available cash and bullion of US$471 million, zero debt, net cash and bullion balance increased by US$66 million at quarter end.”

Perseus said its revolving corporate credit facility was boosted to $US300 million during the quarter (and) “provides additional capacity to fund its growth strategy while continuing to pay dividends to shareholders.”

And for all that strong performance, the shares eased 0.4% to close at $2.35 on Wednesday.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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