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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO Successfully Completes Phase III of Mana Plant Expansion

Burkina Faso Tax Assessment Update

Thursday, December 09, 2010

SEMAFO Successfully Completes Phase III of Mana Plant Expansion10:11 EST Thursday, December 09, 2010MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2010) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced that Phase III of the plant expansion program at its Mana Mine in Burkina Faso has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.The third phase of the plant expansion is aimed at optimizing gold recovery. The addition of two CIL tanks extends the leach time in order to accommodate increased throughput of up to 6,000 tonnes per day in hard rock.Commenting on the milestone, Benoit Desormeaux, SEMAFO's Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer said, "We are pleased with the timely and effective conclusion of this third phase of our plant expansion at Mana. The construction and commissioning of all three phases of the plant expansion were efficiently scheduled and executed with little or no impact on our ongoing operations."SEMAFO received confirmation that Burkina Faso tax authorities have dismissed the 2007-2008 tax assessment and penalties issued to the Company in the first quarter of 2010. SEMAFO will pay a total of $700,000 in lieu of the original amounts which were previously disclosed in the Company's 2010 first, second and third quarter MD&As. The amount owing will be paid out and recorded in the fourth quarter 2010, bringing this matter to a close for all parties.About SEMAFOSEMAFO 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 STATEMENTSThis 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 "aimed at", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", growth" 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 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 in 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 www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Benoit La SalleSEMAFOPresident & CEO514-744-44081-888-744-4408blasalle@semafo.comORSofia St-LaurentSEMAFOCommunications514-744-44081-888-744-4408sstlaurent@semafo.com