---ADDS BROKER COMMENT AND SHARE PRICE---
The ceremony was attended by the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the minister for Lands, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sendolo.
That’s as high a level in-country endorsement as it’s possible to get, and goes to show how much store Liberia is putting by New Liberty, which is the first modern major gold mine in the country.
It’s also a vindication of Aureus chief Dave Reading’s decision to press on with construction during the worst of the Ebola outbreak which, although it wrong-footed the company somewhat in its early stages, never seriously put the project in doubt.
Instead, Reading won plaudits for the sensitivity and rigour of Aureus’s response.
At the site opening, the delegation also toured the Hope for Tomorrow Agricultural Training Cooperative, a community cooperative set up with support from several of Aureus’s partners.
The Cooperative trains members of the local community in sustainable agricultural methods.
Broker finnCap rates the shares a 'buy' and targets 40p (current price: 21.625p).
It notes New Liberty is designed to process around 1.1 million tonnes per year of ore grading between 3.1 g/t and 3.8 g/t to yield around 120,000 ounces of gold per year. All-in sustaining cash costs are expected to average US$789 per ounce, giving a significant cash margin even at current gold prices.
The broker also noted that Aureus benefits from substantial exploration upside.
"Now that the Ebola epidemic is effectively over, exploration work will be restarted. In particular, we look for updates covering the Ndablama deposit, situated some 40 km from New Liberty. Ndablama already has a resource of 901,000 ounces, although the limits of the deposit have not yet been found."
Aureus shares added 4.22% to 21.625p.