Centerra Gold Inc. and Kumtor Gold Company have summed up their operating results in the first quarter of 2019. In the first three months of 2019, Kumtor Gold Company produced 150,308 ounces or 4,675.10 kg of gold and contributed more than 1.51 billion soms in taxes and mandatory payments.
Kumtor produced 150,308 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 100,220 ounces of gold in the same period of 2018. The increase in ounces poured in the first quarter of 2019 is primarily due to processing ore with higher grade and higher recovery from cut-back 18 stockpiles mined in 2018, compared to the processing of ore with lower grade and lower recovery that was stockpiled from cut-back 17 and from Sarytor in the first quarter of 2018. During the first quarter of 2019, Kumtor’s average mill head grade was 3.73 g/t with a recovery of 82% compared to 2.58 g/t and a recovery of 72.2% in the same period of 2018.
Gold sales in the first quarter of 2019 were 150,267 ounces, or 4,673.83 kilograms. Total revenues from gold sales in the first quarter of 2019 were $195.0 million.
The Dore bars produced by the Kumtor mine are purchased by Kyrgyzaltyn JSC for processing at the Kara-Balta refinery pursuant to a Gold and Silver Sales Agreement signed by KGC, Kyrgyzaltyn and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. Kyrgyzaltyn JSC enjoys the exclusive right to sell refined gold and silver both within and outside the Kyrgyz Republic.
Operating costs (on a sales basis), including capitalized stripping, decreased in the first quarter of 2019 by $2.8 million, to $68.5 million compared to $71.3 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Mining costs, including capitalized stripping, totaled $51.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, which was slightly higher ($0.4 million) than in the comparative quarter in 2018.
Milling costs amounted to $17.2 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $15.5 million in the comparative quarter of 2018. The increase is mainly from higher carbon fines processing costs ($0.9 million) as such operations were ramping up in the first quarter of 2018, higher grinding balls costs ($0.6 million) due to the processing of harder ore type and higher carbon costs ($0.3 million) mainly due to higher prices and consumption rate resulting from ore recovery optimization.
Site support costs in the first quarter of 2019 totaled $11.8 million compared to $12.9 million in 2018. The decrease is attributable primarily due to lower costs for camp supplies ($0.4 million) due to lower consumption, lower contractors’ costs ($0.4 million) due to fewer contractors and lower national labor costs mainly due to favorable exchange rate (69.8 som/$ vs. 68.5 som/$).
Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) associated with sales increased to $41 million in the first quarter of 2019 from $35.6 million in the comparative period, mainly due to higher ounces sold and higher amortization of capitalized stripping resulting from the release of high-grade ore from cut-back 19.
All-in sustaining costs on a by-product basis per ounce sold, which excludes revenue-based tax, was $553 in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $758 in the same period of 2018. The decrease was mainly due to higher ounces sold and lower capitalized stripping as a result of accessing the main ore body in cut-back 19 in the first quarter of 2019 and, as a result, ceasing the capitalization of stripping activities.
Including revenue-based taxes, all-in sustaining costs on a by-product basis per ounce sold was $735 in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $942 in the comparative year. The decrease was mainly due to lower all-in sustaining costs (explained above), partially offset by higher revenue-based taxes resulting from increased sales revenue achieved in the first quarter of 2019. (24.kg/Ukrainian metal)