Scoping Study Considers Choco 10 Expansion

Rusoro Mining has received a scoping study from Micon International that indicates favorable economics for an expansion of gold production to more than 500,000 oz/y from reserves and resources at the company’s 95%-owned Choco 10 mine and its Increible 6 deposit (4 km from Choco 10) in the El Callao district of Bolivar state, Venezuela. Choco 10 currently produces about 100,000 oz/y of gold. The scoping study indicates optimal results for an expansion utilizing the existing 5,000-mt/d processing plant plus a new 15,000 mt/d-facility. Based on the encouraging results of the study, Rusoro is targeting the second quarter of 2010 for completion of a definitive feasibility study and environmental impact assessment.

The scoping study outlines an expanded Choco 10 complex that would produce an average of 545,500 oz/y of gold from 7.3 million mt/y of ore at an average grade of 2.58 g/mt gold during its first three years of operation. Open-pit mining would be by a contractor. Mine life is estimated at more than 12 years. Maximum annual production is forecast at 717,300 oz in year 10 of operation.

The new processing facility would have a conventional flowsheet similar to the existing plant, with primary crushing, twostage milling, cyanide leaching, carbon adsorption and elution, electro-winning and gold smelting. Gold recovery is forecast to average 90%.

Life-of-mine cash costs are estimated at $331/oz. Expansion capital requirements are estimated at $208.5 million plus contingencies of $30.8 million and sustaining capital of $80.3 million over the life of the mine.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 05 -