In the first three months of 2017, Kumtor Gold Company produced 127,400 ounces or 3962.59 kg of gold and contributed more than 2.2 billion soms in taxes and mandatory payments.
Gold production for the first quarter of 2017 was 127,400 ounces compared to 86,444 ounces of gold in the comparative period of 2016.
The increase in ounces is a result of milling higher grade ore from stockpiles mined from cut-back 17 of the Central pit at the beginning of the fourth quarter in 2016, compared to the lower grade ore mined and processed from the initial benches in cut-back 17 during the comparative period.
During the first quarter of 2017, Kumtor focused on simultaneously developing both the Central pit through mining cutback 18 and the commencement of mining at the Sarytor pit.
The Sarytor pit is approximately 3 km south of the Central pit. The company expects to obtain access to the Sarytor ore in the second half of 2017.
Gold sales in the first quarter were 134,682 ounces, or 4.19 tons. Total revenues from gold sales in the first quarter were $164.1 million.
Contributions to the national budget in taxes, deductions to the Social Fund and other mandatory payments totaled 2.2 billion soms.
Kumtor’s gold production forecast is expected to be in the range of 455,000 ounces to 505,000 ounces with 30% of the gold production expected to be in the fourth quarter.
At Kumtor, 2017 total capital expenditures, excluding capitalized stripping, are forecast to be $96 million. Spending on sustaining capital of $68 million relates primarily to major overhauls and replacements of the heavy-duty mine equipment ($58 million), major overhauls and replacements of mill equipment ($3 million) and other items ($7 million).
Growth capital investment at Kumtor for 2017 is forecast at $28 million and includes: the relocation of certain infrastructure at Kumtor related to the life-of-mine expansion plan amounting to $9 million; tailings dam construction ($11 million); purchase of new mining equipment ($4 million); dewatering projects ($2 million); other items ($2 million).
The cash component of capitalized stripping costs related to the development of the open pit is expected to be $172 million of the $234 million total capitalized stripping in 2017.
Scott Perry CEO of Centerra Gold stated, “While the company had a good quarter operationally and financially, it was overshadowed by a tragic event which occurred in April at Kumtor when an employee was fatally injured while inspecting a light vehicle in the field. This tragedy reinforces our commitment to our company-wide safety leadership program “Work Safe, Home Safe” which we continue to roll out to all our sites.” (24.kg/Ukrainian metal)
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