Canadian gold miner Yamana Gold has received the permit at its Jacobina mine, in Brazil, to expand throughput to 10 000 t/d, marking not only a significant milestone in the Phase 2 ramp-up to 230 000 oz/y, but also facilitating the future Phase 3 expansion to bring production up to 270 000 oz/y.
The company reported that it would immediately begin to ramp up throughput to the Phase 2 rate of 8 500 t/d, from the previously permitted rate of 7 500 t/d. The Phase 2 objective of 8 500 t/d would be achieved by the second quarter of 2022 – about a year earlier than originally planned, Yamana reported on Monday.
The miner also stated that it had simplified its approach for the Phase 2 expansion, which reduced capital expenditure, increased energy efficiency and derisked the project. The capital costs for the Phase 2 expansion were estimated at $20-million, of which $15-million would be spent next year.
Engineering for the potential Phase 3 expansion was advancing in parallel with Phase 2, with a feasibility study for Phase 3 to be completed in 2023.
Meanwhile, Yamana reported that it expected to exceed its 270 000 gold-equivalent ounce (GEO) guidance for the fourth quarter and that its yearly production guidance of one-million GEOs would also be exceeded.
Fourth-quarter costs were tracking to be the lowest of the year. All-in sustaining costs (AISC) were forecast to be $980/GEO or lower, which the company noted was 7% below the AISC reported for the prior three quarters.