Turquoise Hill’s 50% stake in private company Altynalmas Gold has been sold for US$300 million to Sumeru Gold BV. The sale is subject to customary closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals from Kazakhstan’s relevant authorities, but is due to be finalized by June.
Altynalmas owns the 5.76 million ounce Kyzyl Gold Project in northeast Kazakhstan which hosts the Bakyrchik and Bolshevik deposits. Turquoise Hill acquired its stake in the company in 2008, and its stake in the project in 1996.
Kyzyl is in the village of Auezov about 1100km northeast of the country’s largest city Almaty. The Bakyrchik gold mine originally commenced production in 1956 to provide gold bearing flux to copper smelters in Ust-Kamenogorsk and later to smelting facilities in Russia. The mine has a number of mine shafts, process plant, warehouses and accommodation buildings.
The gold deposits at Bakyrchik consist of a series of mineralized lodes within a shear zone. Mineralogical studies indicate that the majority of the gold is encapsulated by arsenopyrite and pyrite.
In February last year, Turquoise Resources and Altynalmas Gold announced an updated NI 43-101-compliant mineral reserve and resource for Bakyrchik which would result in 337,000 ounces of gold produced per year over a 15 year mine life. Altynalmas is continuing drilling to delineate the resources at Kyzyl.
“Our gold resources and reserves are continuing to grow and we are confident that the Kyzyl gold project can become a substantial, long term gold producer,” says Altynalmas Gold’s chief executive officer David Woodall.
Turquoise Hill was formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines and is an international mining company focused on copper, gold and coal mines in the Asia Pacific region. The company’s flagship operation is its 66% interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine in southern Mongolia, which is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2013.