Ice Movement Limiting Kumtor Production
Production at Kumtor is dependent on successfully maintaining the mining rates of the waste and ice in the south-east section of the pit to gain access to the higher-grade ore in the SB zone. “A recent substantial acceleration of ice and waste movement, which was exacer-bated by the 10-day labor disruption that occurred in early February 2012, now requires that cutback 14A be delayed to allow for the unloading of such ice and waste in the southeast sec-tion of the pit. This is expected to delay the cutback from late 2012 to late 2013, resulting in the deferral into 2013-2015 of production from the high-grade SB zone otherwise expected in 2012,” Centerra said.
Centerra expects to partially miti-gate the impact of the ice movement and the resulting delay in cutback 14A by accelerating mining in the south-west portion of the pit to access part of recently reported new reserves to provide higher-grade ore for the Kum-tor mill. The company is undertaking further technical analysis of the im-pact of the ice movement on its life-of-mine plan and expects to provide further information on production, capital costs, and operating costs in due course.
Centerra also reported that Kumtor’s collective bargaining agree-ment expires at the end of 2012. “A work stoppage at any time during the year could have a significant impact on Kumtor achieving its revised fore-cast production. Additionally, achiev-ing the revised 2012 production is dependent on the delivery of new min-ing equipment on schedule and suc-cessfully maintaining the mining rates of the waste and ice in the southern portion of the pit to gain access to the higher-grade ore,” the company announcement said.