Eldorado Gold Corporation provides details regarding Kisladag metallurgical testwork, its expansion plans at Lamaque, and its Greek projects.
Kisladag metallurgical testwork is progressing well with the bulk of test results currently expected to be completed before year-end 2019. A group of extended Intermittent Bottle Roll Tests (IBRT) has been completed to assist in predicting heap leach recovery on the current reserve. IBRT tests are signifying that with the longer heap leach cycle of 250 days, gold recoveries are trending more than 50%.
Over 100 two-meter columns are also ongoing, which is the typical test for heap leaching, to ratify the findings of the IBRTs.
The initial results, employing the IBRT metallurgical testwork, are signifying a possible mine life extension beyond the present three-year guidance. In case that testwork backs a mine life extension, waste stripping would be required. The company anticipates being in a position to establish the most economic path for the progress of Kisladag by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
The company is assessing an expansion at its Lamaque project, which would be engineered to boost throughput from an average of about 1,800 tons (tpd) per day to 2,500 tpd and increase average yearly production from about 130,000 ounces of gold to about 170,000 ounces of gold.
Eldorado Gold is involved in a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for this expansion, which will comprise inferred resources up to and including the C7 shear zone at the Triangle deposit, and is slated to be over in the fourth quarter of 2019. Conditional on the results of the PEA, the company will commence a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) on the Lamaque expansion, which is anticipated in the second half of 2020.
Highlights of the expansion PEA are anticipated to include:
- 10-year mine life with target production of 1.5 million ounces of gold
- Expected average annual gold production of 170,000 ounces per year once ramp up is done; or 150,000 ounces per year over the complete 10 years
- Three separate projects that should permit expansion up to 2,500 tpd:
- A 2-km decline and conveyor system from the Sigma mill to the 400-m level of the Triangle Deposit
- Building of a paste plant to offer a long-term tailings solution
- Upgrades to the Sigma Mill to enable better throughput
The decline project would comprise an underground crusher as well as a conveyor system for the conveyance of ore, which would remove ore re-handle, remove underground haulage from the 400-m level to surface and 26 km of round trip surface haulage. Underground drilling platforms would be defined along the decline which would give access for exploration along the geologically prospective ground between the Triangle underground mine and the historic Sigma and Lamaque underground mines.
In addition, the decline would offer social advantages including removing emissions from surface haulage, eliminating haulage trucks from public roads, and decreasing noise for the community.
The Sigma Mill upgrades would comprise extra leach tanks and a coarse ore stockpile and may include the addition of a SAG mill that would allow processing of over 2,500 tpd. This extra capacity would establish the asset for expansion in the future from lower portions of Triangle or other areas of the property. The company plans to apply for a 2,650 tpd permit, a 50% increase over the existing permit, which is the maximum permitted under the Provincial permitting process.
Incorporation of a paste plant would offer an environmental enhancement and long-term tailings solution with paste tailings placed in the historic Sigma open pit. Furthermore, the plant would enable paste backfill to be pumped underground through the suggested conveyor decline.
Construction of the decline could begin in 2020, as it offers reduced haulage costs under any production situation, as well as other strategic advantages that include the efficient recovery of possible resources at depth. Timing of other important construction will rely on results of the PFS and PEA as well as the timing of other projects Eldorado Gold may have underway. This will give time for extra Inferred Mineral Resource conversion drilling.
Greek Project Update
Eldorado Gold recently received some installation permits for its Olympias and Skouries assets in Greece. The company is working with the Greek government to attain the essential conditions needed to re-start construction at Skouries and to enable the completion of the development, construction, and financing of its Kassandra assets. In the meantime Eldorado Gold is presently assessing the following potential investments:
- Engineering and permitting expenses to expand the capacity of the Olympias Mine from 1,200 tpd to 1,900 tpd
- Engineering and permitting expenses and minor enabling construction to support the restart of operations at the Skouries Project, contingent on receipt of the building permit for the Skouries flotation plant building
- Engineering and EIA permitting expenses at the Perama Hill Project