TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold, which bought Australian rival Sino Gold late last year, earned $33,3-million in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $28,2-million a year earlier.
Eldorado currently produces gold from three mines in China and one in Turkey, and has development projects in China, Turkey and Greece.
In the fourth quarter, the firm sold 131 068 oz of gold, at an average price of $1 103/oz.
A year earlier, gold sales were 79 965 oz, at an average price of $800/oz.
Eldorado expects to start commercial production from its new Efemcukuru gold mine in Turkey and Eastern Dragon in China by the first quarter of 2011, which will boost production levels.
The company expects to produce between 550 000 oz and 600 000 oz of gold in 2010, increasing to between 790 000 oz and 860 000 oz next year.
CEO Paul Wright also said on Friday that the company plans to move towards production at its Brazilian iron-ore project, Vila Nova, although it has not given any production forecasts.
It will take some time to get things moving, which means the first shipments will not go out before third quarter, he said.
The iron-ore mine was completed and commissioned in the first half of 2008, but was immediately put on care and maintenance, because of weak demand and prices at the time for the steelmaking ingredient. The company said last year it was conducting a review on whether to restart or sell the operation.
Strong demand and pricing for iron-ore prompted the decision to begin production, Wright said.
But he indicated that the asset will still likely be sold off sooner than later.
“We are probably the most reluctant iron-ore miners on the face of the planet,” Wright said on a conference call with analysts and investors.
"But with the present iron-ore prices and the outlook there is clearly a margin here, so we are going to get this mine up and running and start getting some cash back for it."