A 71,000m exploration campaign on the Kari Pump discovery since May resulted in a maiden resource statement of 11.3 million tonnes grading 2.71 grams per tonne (g/t) gold in the indicated category, for 987,000oz, and an inferred resource of 200,000t grading 2.21g/t for 20,000oz.
This helped increase the Houndé measured and indicated resources some 40% to 3.5Moz with an average grade of 2.2g/t for the combined resource categories. The mineralisation covered an area 1.3km long by 0.8km wide and remained open in several directions, Endeavour said.
Endeavour's shares rose nearly 4% in Toronto on the news, as the market showed signs of warming to companies delivering solid exploration results.
Endeavour said the Kari Pump resource was amenable to openpit mining, since mineralization started at surface.
Significantly, the Kari Pump deposit represented only 35% of the Kari gold-in-soil anomaly, being one of three discoveries the recent 200,000m drill campaign delivered over the past 18 months.
The Kari Centre discovery extended 1.2km along strike and across a width of over 200m, while the Kari West discovery extended at least 1km along strike and across a width of 500m, with both mineralised systems remaining open, the company said.
Endeavour plans to launch a second 200,000m drilling programme in December, which would continue in 2019 with the main objectives of pursuing Kari Pump extensions, to delineate a maiden resource for both the Kari West and Centre discoveries, and to explore other high-priority targets including Vindaloo Deep and South, Dohun/Sia/Sianikoui and Grand Espoir.
Metallurgical tests on Kari Pump are currently underway with the aim of publishing a reserve statement soon.
"The exploration success achieved notably at Kari Pump, Ity and Fetekro just two years since the implementation of our five-year strategic exploration plan in late 2016, demonstrates that we remain on track to reach our ambitious discovery target set at a discovery cost lower than $20/oz," EVP for exploration and growth Patrick Bouisset said.
Despite the stock being down 16.5% over the past 12 months, Endeavour closed C53c higher in Toronto on Thursday at $17.81, which gave the company a market value of $1.91 billion.