Kinross eyes first production from new Alaska mine in 2024

29th June 2022

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Canadian bullion miner Kinross has unveiled some initial results from the soon-to-be-released feasibility study of its 70%-owned Manh Choh project, in Alaska, and pencilled in the fourth quarter of 2024 as its first production date.

The feasibility study is nearing completion and will be disclosed as part of the company’s second-quarter results.

The trending view of the feasibility study is that Manh Choh will require $170-million to $190-million in capital expenditure (on a 100% basis), producing a total of 600 000 to 650 000 gold-equivalent ounces (GEO) over a four-year period.

The feasibility study results would reflect recent inflationary pressures, Kinross said on Wednesday, but added that it would yield higher grades, owing to an updated resources model, which would help offset such pressures.

Kinross plans to truck Manh Choh ore to Fort Knox for batch processing, which will add high grade mill feed to Fort Knox’s mill. Manh Choh ore is expected to be about ten times the current average mill grade at Fort Knox.

The addition of high-grade ore will lower Fort Knox’s average life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs (AISC) and increase cash flow.

Combined output from Fort Knox and Manh Choh will result in Kinross Alaska producing an average of 350 000 to 400 000 GEO a year between 2025 and 2027, at an average grade of 0.45 g/t and AISC of $1 100/GEO to $1 200/GEO.

Meanwhile, at the Great Bear project, in Red Lake, Ontario, Kinross is on schedule to declare an initial mineral resource as part of its 2022 year-end results. The initial mineral resource estimate will be predominantly in the inferred category, with some indicated resources.

To date, the company has drilled about 83 000 m and is on track to complete about 200 000 m of exploration and infill drilling in 2022 on the LP Fault zone, the most significant discovery to date at the project.

“The latest assay results continue to support Kinross’ view of a high-grade, world-class deposit that underpins the prospect of a large, long-life mining complex. The results are consistent with findings from earlier in the year, which confirm gold mineralisation with good widths and high grades and support the view that the LP Fault zone can host a long-life, openpit mine,” Kinross stated.

Recent results showing high-grade mineralisation at depths of more than 500 m also demonstrate the potential for a sizeable underground mine.

In support of this, the miner is looking at an advanced exploration programme that would establish an underground decline. The advanced programme will allow for underground drilling for more efficient exploration of deeper areas of the LP Fault, along with the nearby Hinge and Limb gold zones, as well as bulk sampling.

The advanced programme could start as early as 2024.  A prefeasibility study for Great Bear will start next year.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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