SSR set to reopen Turkish gold mine

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SSR Mining Inc. [SSRM-TSX, NASDAQ, SSR-ASX] said Thursday it has received the required approvals from the Turkish Government and will restart operations at its Copler mine today.

The move comes after the company completed improved initiatives at the heap leach pad that were required by the Turkish Ministry of the Environment.

At the end of the second quarter the government temporarily suspended operations pending the implementation off the required improvements at Copler, which produced 122,030 ounces of gold during the six months ended June 30, 2022.

That was down from 154,232 ounces in the equivalent 2021. Lower production was due to depleting oxide ore, which resulted in fewer oxide tones and lower grade mined, as well as the scheduled autoclave maintenance that was completed in April, 2022.

SSR shares were largely unchanged on news of the pending reopening at Copler, rising 0.05% to $19.13. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $31 and $17.01.

During Copler’s temporary suspension, SSR accelerated and completed planned maintenance in the sulfide plant that had been previously scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022. That work included the scheduled partial relining of the face bricks in Autoclave 1. “With this maintenance work now complete, no scheduled maintenance is planned for Copler for the remainder of 2022.’’

SSR is an intermediate gold miner with four producing mines located in the U.S, Turkey, Canada and Argentina. They include the Seabee mine, which is currently also the only gold producer in Saskatchewan.

In 2021, those operations produced approximately 794,000 gold equivalent ounces.

In the first six months of 2022, SSR produced a total of 333,201 ounces of gold (globally) at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$1,177 per ounce. Seabee produced 38,341 ounces of gold in the second quarter of 2022 at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$628 an ounce, marking a production record for the operation.

Late last year, the company struck a friendly deal to acquire Taiga Gold in a transaction worth $27 million.

Taiga controlled six Saskatchewan gold projects located within the Trans Hudson Corridor in the area near SSR Mining’s Seabee Gold operation.

SSR said the Taiga acquisition materially expanded its presence in a core jurisdiction (Saskatchewan) by adding five new properties (34,569 hectares), which provide new exploration targets stretching south from the Seabee mine to SSR Mining’s 100%-owned Amisk property.

By acquiring Taiga, SSR also gained control of its flagship Fisher property, which is contiguous to the Seabee gold mine. The transaction unencumbered the Fisher property through the elimination of a 2.5% net smelter return royalty which covers the majority of the project.

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