MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2011) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today provided its 2011 guidance and announced the establishment of a $39-million exploration budget, including $30 million for the Mana property in Burkina Faso.

"The Mana property continues to deliver excellent exploration results," said Michel Crevier, SEMAFO's Geology Manager. "Our expanded exploration program will focus on previously established priority targets including the Fofina-Fobiri, Kona, Massala and Saoura areas. We will also drill on select areas based on our interpretation of the magnetic and induced polarization survey results."

Mana exploration activities in 2011 are set to include:

  • 69,000 meters of core drilling, including 6,000 meters over deep targets
  • 130,000 meters of reverse-circulation ("RC") drilling: 57,000 meters over the Kona and Fofina-Fobiri areas
  • 50,000 meters of air core drilling

In the first quarter SEMAFO is scheduled to release the results of its feasibility study of the Wona underground project, as well as a full 43-101 report on the reserves and resources of the Mana property.

Exploration at the Samira Hill Mine in Niger will focus primarily on the identification of new oxide deposits. Air core and RC drilling is to be carried out over the Boulon Jounga, Libiri, Sikia, Tondé Babangou, Gare Garé and Bouli areas. At the Kiniero Mine in Guinea, core and RC drilling will be carried out mainly over the Secteur Gobelé A, Ouest-Balan D and E areas.

"Following the positive 2010 exploration results and recognizing that we have explored but a small fraction of the properties, we are pleased to announce a record $39-million exploration budget for our three projects in 2011," said Benoit Desormeaux, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. "The exploration programs include extensive infill and step-out drilling to maximize resources development. These aggressive drill campaigns further emphasize the Company's strategic commitment to organic growth."

2011 Outlook and Material Assumptions

For 2011, we anticipate production to remain similar to 2010 levels and our production guidance for the year is between 238,000 and 263,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of between $540 and $580 per ounce. Production from our Mana Mine will constitute more than 72% of our total ounces produced in 2011. Mana's annual guidance has been set at between 170,000 and 190,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of between $425 and $465 per ounce. Overall production growth will be constrained by conditions at our Samira Hill Mine, where for the first two quarters we will be processing transitional and lower grade ore as we carry out a pit wall pushback. We expect the pushback to be completed in the Samira Main pit by mid-year.

A number of assumptions were made in preparing the 2011 forecast in this press release, including:

  • $0.92 per liter or $95 per barrel of oil
  • Canadian/US dollar exchange rate at par
  • Social and political stability in Africa
  • Continued stable production at the Company's three mines

"Our team is committed to maintaining solid performance levels in 2011," said Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We will focus on strengthening our position as an important West African gold producer and ensuring our ability to deliver sustainable growth."

SEMAFO will release its fourth quarter and 2010 year-end financial results on or about March 16, 2011. The Company will also host a conference call to discuss the results, the details of which will be announced at a later date.

All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise indicated. "Cash operating cost" is a measure that is not recognized under Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This data may not be comparable to data presented by other gold producers.


SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "outlook", "guidance", "continues", "will", "set to include", "scheduled", "to be", "maximize", "commitment", "anticipate", "similar", "expect", "maintaining", "strengthening", "ensuring", "deliver", "sustainable", "growth", "evolve", "become", "pursuing" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to complete our 39$ million exploration program in 2011, the ability to release in the first quarter our feasibility study on the Wona underground project as well as a full 43-101 report on the reserves and resources of the Mana property, the ability of our exploration program at Samira Hill Mine to identify new oxide deposits, the ability of the extensive infill and step-out drilling to maximize resources development, the ability to meet our 2011 production and cash operating cost guidance, the ability to deliver sustainable growth, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2009 Annual MD&A, as updated by our 2010 First Quarter MD&A, 2010 Second Quarter MD&A and 2010 Third Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at These documents are also available on our website at SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

Contact Information: SEMAFO
Benoit La Salle, CA
President & CEO
Sofia St Laurent