JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Kiziltepe mine in Turkey has completed its transition to commercial production and is operating at levels exceeding feasibility expectations, 50%-owner Ariana Resources reported on Monday.
The mine, which Ariana owns in a joint venture with Proccea Construction, delivered 1 929 oz of gold and 14 519 oz of silver during the ramp-up period from mid-March to the end of June. A further 1 370 oz of gold and 6 780 oz of silver were produced in July, beating planned production.
Total production since start-up totalled about 3 300 oz of gold and 21 300 oz of silver.
Ariana reported that the Kiziltepe mine’s process recoveries were significantly higher than expected, averaging at 94% for gold and 79% for silver, compared with the feasibility study expectations of 86% and 64%, respectively.
During the ramp-up period, 38 886 t of ore were milled, with May and June tonnage exceeding feasibility expectations.
MD Kerim Sener said that the higher production rate had boosted confidence in the ability of Kiziltepe to increase output, particularly during the dry summer months. The JV plans to increase ore movement from the pit to 22 000 t/m, which will represent an increase of more than 75% above the feasibility plan.
“We are also continuing to consider strategies to increase mill throughput which may enable production to be eventually increased to about 200 000 t of ore per annum, representing an increase of one-third over the feasibility plan. Notably these strategies will not involve any significant additional capital expenditure and relate to alternative crusher scheduling, screening and milling approaches," Sener said.