Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) substantial shareholder Franklin Resources, Inc and its affiliates has lifted its interest in the West African gold producer to 9.8% from 7.72%.
Since December 1, 2017, Franklin has made a series of transactions, with the most recent on April 2, 2019, being the exercise of in excess of 22 million warrants valued at more than $9.76 million.
The investor now holds more than 102 million shares.
Perseus is producing at the Edikan and Sissingue projects in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire respectively and is moving towards a third operating mine at Yaouré in central Cote d’Ivoire.
In its half-yearly report, managing director Jeff Quartermaine said that in most respects the company was in its best-ever condition financially and operationally “and is very well positioned to continue the strong growth”.
He said the strong financial results were a direct result of continuing strong production and cost performance at the two operating mines in Ghana and in Côte d’Ivoire.
There were 140,555 ounces of gold produced in the six months to December 31, 2018, which was 30% higher than in the corresponding period of 2017.
The weighted average all-in site cost, including the costs of production, royalties and sustaining capital, was US$999 per ounce, a 10% reduction on the same period in 2017.
In the six months, Perseus recorded a net profit after tax of $10.4 million or 1.0 cents per share, compared to a net loss after tax of $13.9 million in the six months to December 31, 2017.
Quartermaine added: “In the coming six months, we expect to commence development of our third operating mine, Yaouré.
“When this mine comes online in early 2021, annual production levels should be in the order of 500,000 ounces of gold at an AISC heading to approximately US$800 per ounce.
“Subject to the gold price at that time, this production and cost performance should enable Perseus to generate material amounts of free cash flow and record significantly greater profits.”