Lydian International Limited is pleased to announce a formal decision has been made to proceed with construction at its 100%-owned Amulsar Gold Project in Armenia.
This action by the Company's board of directors follows recent receipt of an amended Mining Right from the Republic of Armenia and the previously announced closings of a C$38.3 million public offering and US$80 million in private placements.
The development plan for Amulsar demonstrates a compelling opportunity for value generation. Upon completion, Amulsar is expected to be the largest gold mine in Armenia, producing an average of 243,000 ounces of gold per year over the initial five years of operations. With this scale of production and a 10-year life-of-mine total cash cost estimated at US$509/gold ounce, Amulsar will be a highly profitable operation. First gold pour is expected within approximately 20 months from the start of construction. Lydian will also be evaluating future expansion potential from currently defined inferred mineral resources and, ultimately, from open extensions at depth.
Financing for Amulsar has been established, most notably through the comprehensive US$325 million financing package announced in late 2015 (see Lydian's news release, dated December 1, 2015). Amulsar's construction capital is estimated at US$370 million. Funding for more than 80% of this is in place; equipment financing is expected to fill in the remainder.
Howard Stevenson, Lydian's President and CEO, stated, "Lydian is now rapidly advancing on a number of fronts to achieve a summer start to construction at Amulsar. Basic engineering is advancing and we plan to tender several key contracts during the coming weeks in anticipation of breaking ground. We expect to accomplish a number of milestones this year and will outline our path forward at Lydian's upcoming annual meeting."