CENTERRA Gold’s Kumtor project in the Kyrgyz Republic continues to perform well with 103,701 ounces of gold produced in the quarter ending September 30, compared to 95,262 ounces in the corresponding period of 2014. The company also revised its 2015 production guidance with the lower end of the range increased by 20,000 ounces to reflect better production estimates for Kumtor and for Boroo in Mongolia.
The company has revised all-in costs per ounce to reflect lower operating costs and revised capital expenditures forecast for updated capital requirements for Kumtor and Öksüt in Turkey.
At Kumtor mining activities in the third quarter continued to focus on waste stripping from cut-back 17, while the mill primarily processed stockpiled ore. Total waste rock and ore mined was 41.9 million tonnes compared to 48.7 million tonnes in the comparative period of 2014. The decrease primarily reflected a 6% increase in average haulage distance.
Other factors impacting mining included a decrease in haul truck availability of 5% and the impact of unusually warm and wet conditions that resulted in lost production hours. During the quarter, Kumtor mined 1.1 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.80 grams/tonne (g/t), compared to 1.4 million tonnes mined at an average grade of 3.49 g/t in the third quarter of 2014.
During the quarter Kumtor’s average mill head grade was 2.83 g/t with a recovery of 75.7%, compared to 3.05 g/t and 72.7% for the same period of 2014.
Overall company operating costs on a sales basis, excluding capitalized stripping, decreased by 24% to $33.5 million in the third quarter from $43.8 million in the same period of 2014. This was due to processing lower cost ounces at Kumtor driven by a reduction in cost for diesel, labour and other consumables as well as favourable movements in exchange rates.
Decreased costs include lower diesel costs ($10.3 million) due to lower fuel prices, blasting costs ($2 million) due to lower blasted tonnages and implementation of an improved wider drill pattern on waste material, lower labour costs ($1.5 million) due to favourable exchange movement on local salaries and lube costs ($0.9 million) due to improved oil analysis processes.
Centerra has appointed Scott Perry as CEO, replacing Ian Atkinson who has retired. It has also appointed Frank Herbert as president.