ELDORADO Gold expects to increase production at the Jinfeng mine to between 145,000 and 155,000 ounces during 2014, an increase of around 20% on the 2013 production figure of 123,246 ounces. The 2013 cash cost at Jinfeng averaged US$736 per ounce and Eldorado expects 2014 costs of between $650 and $670.
The open pit at Eldorado Gold’s Jinfeng project in Guizhou province.
The company expects to process 1.5 million tonnes of ore this year at a grade of 3.86 grams/tonne gold with ore to be sourced from both underground (670,000 tonnes) and open pit (820,000 tonnes).
Production at Jinfeng during the second half of 2013 was higher due to higher head grades, recovery and throughput. Production from the open pit reached full capacity during the third quarter and contributed to the improved head grade.
The company plans capital expenditure of around US$35 million at Jinfeng this year. Major capital items are underground development, underground mining equipment, and a tailings dam expansion.
Gold production at White Mountain in 2013 totalled 73,060 ounces at a cash cost of US$705 per ounce. Production in the third quarter of 2013 was higher than in the same period of 2012 as largely as a result of higher head grades. Cash operating costs per ounce decreased due to improved productivity from underground mining operations.
In 2014 White Mountain is expected to process 830,000 tonnes of ore at a grade of 3.4 grams/tonne with the company setting a guidance of 70,000-75,000 ounces. Capital costs will be approximately $25 million, mostly for mine development and underground equipment.
Production at Tanjianshan in 2013 totalled 101,451 ounces at a cash cost of $414 per ounce. Third quarter production was slightly lower than the same quarter of 2012 as a result of lower head grades, partially offset by higher throughput. Cash operating costs per ounce decreased from the third quarter of 2012 as a result of lower processing costs.
Tanjianshan is expected to process 1.1 million tonnes at a grade of 3.45 grams/tonne in 2014. The bulk of the mill feed will be from existing stockpiles as JLG pit goes into a pushback phase and Eldorado has issued a guidance of 95,000-100,000 ounces. Capital spending is budgeted at $20 million, mainly for capitalized waste and a tailings dam lift.
Recent exploration drilling programs have focused on further delineation of inferred resources at White Mountain Northern Extension, infilling high-grade zones at Jinlonggou Bridge Zone and West Wall targets and step-out drilling in the new Qinlongtan North Zone.
The Eastern Dragon project remains on care and maintenance pending resolution of permitting issues. Site management has been working with local authorities to maintain local permits and permissions in good standing.