Centerra Gold Inc. [CG-TSX; CAGDF-OTC] on Friday January 31 announced the first gold pour at its Oksut Mine in Turkey, a move that adds a third leg to the company’s suite of producing assets.
Centerra’s portfolio also includes the Kumptor Mine the Kyrgyz Republic and the Mt. Milligan Mine in British Columbia. Kumtor is the largest gold mine operated in Central Asia by a Western-based company. Mining operations are carried out using conventional open-pit mining methods.
Oksut is located in the Kayseri province of south-central Turkey, 295 km to the southeast of the capital city of Ankara and 48 km south of the city of Kayseri. Oksut is planned as a conventional truck and shovel open pit heap leach mining operation.
A total of approximately 28.2 million tonnes at a grade of 1.3 g/t gold, containing a total of approximately 1.2 million ounces of gold is scheduled to be mined and stacked over a mine life of eight years from two open pits, the Keltepe and the smaller Guneytepe pit.
Oksut is expected to produce 89,000 ounces of gold in 2020 at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$787/oz. Production there is expected to rise to 179,000 ounces in 2021 at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$426/oz.
On Friday, Centerra shares advanced on the news, rising 5.8% or 58 cents to $10.55. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $6.37 and $13.00.
News of the Oskut gold pour comes after Centerra recently said it had received all the necessary approvals and permits to restart open pit mining operations and to continue milling activity at its Kumtor Mine for the remainder of 2020.
Two employees went missing at Kumtor following a significant rock movement in the Lysii Waste Rock Dump early on the morning of December 1, 2019.
Centerra said the country’s state agencies have also approved the company’s 2020 mine development plan for the Central Pit, including the revised waste dumping plan and special safety measures to place waste rock material in the Central Valley waste rock dump and the Sarytor waste rock dump.
At the time when the two miners were reported missing, Centerra said the Kumtor mill would continue uninterrupted processing ore that has been stockpiled on surface and there was no change to the company’s production outlook for 2019.
Higher grades and recoveries at Kumtor and higher gold grades at Mt. Milligan enabled Centerra to produce a better than expected 206,000 ounces of gold and 21.2 million pounds of copper in the third quarter of 2019. That includes 150,305 ounces from Kumtor and 55,355 ounces from Mt. Milligan.
Centerra recently raised its 2019 gold production guidance to 730,000-765,000 ounces from an earlier forecast of 705,000-750,000 ounces.