Dundee Precious Metals has achieved first gold concentrate production from its Krumovgrad open-pit gold mine, in Bulgaria, it says.
Following cold commissioning of the processing plant facilities, 650 t of ore was processed through the crushing, grinding and rougher flotation circuits at a rate of around 100 t/h, producing the first concentrate from the Ada Tepe deposit.
Rick Howes, President and CEO, Dundee Precious Metals, said: “With commercial production expected in the second (June) quarter of this year, this is the beginning of a new chapter for DPM, which will deliver significant growth in gold production and free cash flow.”
In the coming weeks, the focus will be on beginning the ramp-up and optimisation of the processing plant to achieve the design throughput of 105 t/h and the design gold recovery of 85%, according to the company.
The forecast capital cost for Krumovgrad remains at $164-$166 million, compared with the original estimate of $178 million. As at February 28, construction of the project was 97% complete with $147 million incurred.
Dundee said: “There is significant operating flexibility during ramp-up given the various grades of stockpiled mined ore at Krumovgrad.”
Gold contained in concentrate at Krumovgrad is expected to be between 55,000-75,000 oz in 2019, but, based on the mineral reserves for Krumovgrad, the mine will produce on average 100,000 oz/y of gold contained in concentrate for the first five years of production, with a life of mine average of some 85,000 oz at a $404/oz cash cost.