AltynGold to add new Cat & Epiroc fleet for underground Sekisovskoye mine expansion

Kazakh gold miner AltynGold PLC has announced that an additional credit line for an amount of $40 million from Kazakh Bank JSC Bank Center Credit (BCC) has been successfully secured. The loans are repayable in instalments over a term of six and a half years with interest charges ranging from 3% to 7%. The additional credit line together with the company’s own funds will be utilised to increase the production capacity of the Sekisovskoye underground mine and expand the capacity of the processing plant to 1 Mt/y (from the current 850,000 t/y), including a large new Caterpillar underground mining fleet.

The current expansion project total cost is $64 million. The plans for the mine is to increase the ore production to 1 Mt/y and gold production to 60,000 oz/y. Long term AltynGold plans an increase in ore production up to 2 Mt/y, and production of more than 100,000 oz of gold per year. This will include open and underground mining operations at the in-development TerenSai deposit including a new processing plant.

To increase the production capacity of the underground mine the company is adding seven 30 t Cat AD30 underground trucks and seven 12 t Cat R1300 LHDs plus two Epiroc Simba K102 production drilling rigs, an Epiroc S1D development jumbo and an Epiroc Diamec U4 Smart exploration diamond drilling rig. It has also ordred a KPV-4A raise borer from Russia’s JSC Mining Machines.

Auxiliary mining equipment to ensure efficient and safe mining operations includes a main Korfmann ventilation fan plus secondary fans from Russia AMZ Ventprom (four VME-12) plus three personnel carriers, a Lupomat 45 compressor plus active mining face scanner, inclinometer, and six Flygt BS dewatering pumps.

It also includes some reconstruction of the power supply at the mine, the implementation of an accident warning system and a system for monitoring of the positioning of workers in the mine. The company is also draining the pit in order to reduce water inflow into the mine and ensure the safe operation of the pit’s transport communications in winter; plus adding equipment and transport solutions for moving ore and workers on the surface (six 25 t Chinese Shacman dump truck, four Yineng ZL50 wheel loaders plus a Shantui SD-32 dozer, JSB excavator, tanker, PAZ bus and other vehicles).

To increase the ore processing capacity up to 1 Mt/y, the processing plant will be expanded including installation of an additional 4500 x 6000 ball mill for the first stage of grinding; acquisition of equipment and construction of a new crushing and screening complex (DSK) with three stages of crushing; expansion of the sorption department (installation of an additional three leaching tanks of 800 m3 each); reconstruction of the desorption and electrolysis system in order to ensure the processing of 8 t of activated carbon per day; and implementation of a significant amount of construction and installation works (construction of buildings and structures, foundations, installation of equipment etc).

AltynGold’s CEO Aidar Assaubayev commented: “Securing the development funding at attractive terms, indicates our partners’ confidence in the prospects of AltynGold. We are now in a position to implement the expansion plan towards 1mtpa production within two years in line with our strategic growth plan. Achieving this milestone will significantly increase shareholders value and set the stage for a sustainable dividend policy.”