Centerra Looking for 2013 Rebound in Kumtor Gold Production
Kumtor operations are located in the Tien Shan mountains 350 km southeast of the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek at mining ele-vations ranging up to 4,400 m. Local valleys are occupied by active glaciers that extend down to elevations of 3,800 to 3,900 m.
Centerra is currently forecasting that Kumtor gold production will recover to between 550,000 and 600,000 oz during 2013, with approximately half of this pro-duction occurring in the fourth quarter when the mine will gain access to its high-grade SB zone.
Centerra President and CEO Ian Atkinson said, “In November last year we announced an expansion of the open pit at Kumtor. This very exciting development resulted in a significant increase in value of the Kumtor deposit and included a 58% increase in proven and probable reserves to a total of 9.7 million contained oz. Just as important, the new mine plan is expected to deliver consistent annual gold produc-tion averaging 650,000 oz/y for the next 10 years.”
Centerra is forecasting 2013 capital expenditures at Kumtor, excluding capital-ized stripping, of $95 million, of which $64 million will be sustaining capital. The largest sustaining capital spending will be for major overhaul maintenance of the heavy-duty mine equipment ($29 million), purchase of new mining equipment ($17 million), raising the tailings dam ($5 million), and other items ($13 million). Growth capital invest-ment is forecast at $31 million, which includes the relocation of certain infrastruc-ture related to the mine expansion ($26 mil-lion) and other items ($5 million). Capital-ized stripping costs related to the develop-ment of the open-pit include $212 million cash and $77 million non-cash for a total capital spending forecast of $289 million.
Centerra plans to spend about $13.5 million for exploration on its Kumtor concession during 2013.
Centerra also owns and operates the Boroo gold mine in Mongolia, which pro-duced 71,838 oz during 2012, well above its forecast of about 60,000 oz made at the beginning of the year.
The company has allocated about $7 million for exploration spending in Mongolia during 2013 and will continue to pursue exploration projects in Turkey, Russia and China. Company-wide exploration spending is planned at $45 million for the year.