UPDATE 1-Canada's Endeavour sets dividend policy ahead of London listing, shares flat

(Adds detail on emissions, CEO comment on M&A, shares)

TORONTO, June 7 (Reuters) – West Africa-focused gold miner Endeavour Mining on Monday said it would target at least $500 million in shareholder returns through to 2023 with a progressive dividend policy ahead of a London listing expected next week.

Endeavour, which is set to list on the London Stock Exchange on or about June 14, is working to integrate new mines after a $2.7 billion acquisition spree in West Africa last year spooked some investors.

Minimum dividends would be set at $125 million, $150 million, and $175 million for fiscal 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively, which represents approximately $0.50/share, $0.60/share, and $0.70/share based on current shares outstanding, it said.

Payments could be supplemented by higher dividends and by ongoing share buybacks at gold prices of $1,500 per ounce or higher, provided Endeavour's leverage remains below 0.5 times net debt to adjusted EBITDA, the company said.

Endeavour, which has said it would retain its Toronto listing, is targeting production of 1.4 million to 1.5 million ounces through 2023, rising to 1.6 million ounces in 2025.

Chief Executive Sebastien de Montessus reiterated the miner is not interested in M&A.

"We haven't seen anything that would be of interest," he said on an analyst call.

He said Endeavour would update on a potential divestment of its non-core Karma mine in Burkina Faso in the year's second half.

The company said it aims to lower its carbon intensity by a third by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Emissions per ounce of gold produced rose 11% in 2020 while total emissions nearly doubled from a year earlier, due to mining of lower grades and increased energy use following recent acquisitions, the company said.

Endeavour shares were flat in midday trading in Toronto, in line with gold which traded in a narrow range.

(Reporting by Jeff Lewis Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chris Reese)

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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