TSX- and ASX-listed gold producer Alacer Gold on Monday announced an increase to its 2018 oxide plant production guidance to between 110 000 oz and 130 000 oz, at a reduced all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of between $650/oz and $700/oz.
The guidance for the oxide plant at the Çöpler mine, in Turkey, was previously between 70 000 oz and 90 000 oz, at an AISC of between $750/oz and $800/oz.
Production guidance from the sulphide plant remains unchanged at between 50 000 oz and 100 000 oz, with the construction of the plant remaining on schedule and under budget.
At June 30, Alacer had produced 63 073 oz of gold from the oxide plant.
The increased oxide gold production guidance is a result of successful in-pit exploration activities, which discovered about one-million tonnes of limestone-rich oxide material that can be added into the mining schedule.
Blending the limestock-rich material with stockpiled low sulphide, high carbonate ore provides an ore blend that can be efficiently processed on the heap leach pad, on which it is currently being stacked, stated the company.
Extensive testing culminating in full plant trials, which began in May, generated positive results – showing that the blended ore has good chemical, structural and permeability characteristics with gold recoveries of more than 60%.
Meanwhile, the sulphide plant remains on track to be delivered under budget and on schedule, with start of operation planned in the third quarter. The staged start-up will begin with the crushing, grinding and carbon-in-pulp circuits first; then the remainder of the plant, including the pressure oxidation circuits, will start.
Costs and revenues associated with initial sulphide operations will be capitalised to the construction costs until commercial production is achieved, which is expected in early 2019.