CENTERRA Gold is on track to meet production guidance of between 470,000 and 520,000 ounces for 2015 at the Kumtor project in the Kyrgyz Republic following a good June quarter. Higher grades, recoveries and mill throughput enabled Centerra to produce 122,111 ounces compared to 77,860 ounces in the corresponding period of 2014.
Approximately 1.6 million tonnes were processed in the June quarter, which was 9% more than the comparative quarter of 2014 due to higher mill availability and higher hourly throughput. Kumtor’s average mill head grade was 3.26 grams/tonne with recovery of 77.5% in the quarter, compared to 2.35 grams/tonne with recovery of 73.2% for the June quarter of 2014.
The Kumtor Gold Project is in mountainous terrain in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Mining activities in the second quarter focused on development and waste stripping from cut-back 17. Total waste rock and ore mined was 40.4 million tonnes compared to 49.5 million tonnes in the comparative period of 2014. This was primarily due to a 25% increase in average haulage distance.
Other negative factors impacting mining included unfavourable weather, as the mine experienced increased precipitation; higher temperatures than normal which had an adverse impact on pit productivity; a decrease in haul truck availability of 4% compared to the same period in 2014 and inconsistent broken ore due to the reduced mechanical availability of the blast hole drills.
During the June quarter Kumtor mined approximately 200,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.50 grams/tonne, compared to 500,000 tonnes at an average grade of 1.40 grams/tonne in the second quarter of 2014.
Centerra’s president and CEO Ian Atkinson said, “Kumtor performed well during the quarter, keeping us on track to achieve our production and cost guidance. On July 3, Kumtor received extensions to its permits for emissions into the atmosphere and waste disposal into the tailings management facility to the end of the year.”
The company continues discussions with the Kyrgyz Government relating to possible restructuring of the project. The Parliament passed a resolution on June 29 to ensure the continued operation of the mine and to carry out an examination of the updated technical life-of-mine plan, presented in March 20, 2015, and its impact on the country.