Tag Archives: Kyrgyzstan

Chaarat Gold eyes simpler, lower cost processing of Kyzyltash ore with Albion process

Chaarat Gold has announced the completion of the first phase metallurgical test program performed by SGS Lakefield on its Kyzyltash gold project, in Kyrgyzstan, which showed similar first stage recoveries from both pressure oxidation (POX) and Albion™ technologies.

The project has a current JORC-compliant measured, indicated and inferred sulphide resource of 5.4 Moz of gold at 3.8 g/t Au. Management estimate that the project has the potential to produce approximately 300,000 oz/y of gold subject to the project meeting its feasibility, permitting and development milestones. More than 80,000 metres of drilling have been completed to date on the project.

The Albion process employs ultra-fine grinding followed by aerated cyanide leaching to extract gold while POX uses high-pressure and temperature conditions to oxidise refractory sulphides prior to gold extraction by conventional carbon-in-leach technology. Bio-oxidation (BIOX) test work is ongoing with results expected in the September quarter of 2022. The test work will be analysed in an economic trade-off study comparing the potential processing technologies applicable to the ore with the aim of making a final decision in 2023. Following this, Chaarat will aim to progress towards an updated feasibility study on the Kyzyltash project.

SGS Lakefield performed flotation and oxidative treatment tests on the representative samples of the 2021 Kyzyltash drilling program, with ore shown to be amenable to froth flotation recovering 87-90% of gold with a 23-24% mass pull. The leach recovery for both Albion and POX averaged 80-90% with similar results between the two processes, the company said.

Mike Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of Chaarat, said: “The development of the Kyzyltash project is continuing as planned. These first results of the Kyzyltash metallurgical test work have provided confirmation that the gold is favourably recoverable with various technologies. The fact that the results from the Albion process were similar to POX is very encouraging as Albion could potentially offer a substantially simpler, lower cost means of processing Kyzyltash ore. Further test work to confirm the preferred processing route will enable Chaarat to proceed with an updated feasibility study with the aim of unlocking the significant future value that this project can bring to Chaarat shareholders.”

The Albion process, owned by Glencore Technology, uses a combination of ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure to work. It also tolerates a more variable feed and lower grade than other processes, according to Glencore Technology, meaning it can make some projects feasible and profitable where alternative technologies could not. The sulphides in the feed are oxidised and valuable metals liberated, with the economic metals recovered by conventional downstream processing. Test work requires only small sample masses with no pilot plant, Glencore Technology says.

Chaarat and Turkey mine contractor sign Tulkubash, Kyzyltash JV agreement

Chaarat has signed a binding term sheet to enter into a joint venture with Turkey-based mining and mine construction contractor Çiftay İnsaat Tahhüt ve Ticaret AS, to collaborate on the Tulkubash and Kyzyltash projects in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Çiftay, a partner since 2017, which mobilised equipment to the Tulkubash site in the Chatkal Valley last year, will be appointed as construction and long-term mining contractor for the Tulkubash project, Chaarat said.

The company has extensive experience as a mining and civil engineering contractor at multiple mine sites in Turkey including two major gold mines, according to Chaarat. Definitive agreements for the joint venture are expected to be concluded next quarter.

Under the agreement, based on an agreed valuation of $252 million (post money) for the two assets, Çiftay will progressively invest $31.5 million for a 12.5% equity stake in Chaarat’s Tulkubash and Kyzyltash assets.

Chaarat said: “Çiftay’s investment provides a significant amount of the required equity for the Tulkubash project. Total capital expenditure for the project is between $120-$130 million and, after the Çiftay equity investment, the vast majority of the remaining capital expenditure is expected to be debt funded, thus avoiding substantial dilution to Chaarat’s shareholders.”

Chaarat is in the process of securing the remaining project financing which is targeted to close in the September quarter of 2019. Çiftay will commence earthworks in anticipation of this, negotiated at “arms-length rates”, which represent an improvement to the terms indicated in the 2018 feasibility study, Chaarat said.

Construction is ongoing at Tulkubash and the first gold production remains on schedule for 2021.

The company continues to advance detailed engineering and has finalised several project components for immediate construction readiness, it said. Çiftay has earthworks equipment at the mine site and constructed a temporary construction camp this winter to be ready for an early spring start to major earthworks.

Chaarat said: “The recent resource update continues to suggest the emergence of a significant new gold district.”

An updated feasibility study for Tulkubash will be published in the June quarter, but a previous study from April indicated a 95,200 oz/y mine operating at an all-in sustaining cost of $831/oz could be built for $132 million of upfront capital. This was based on a 500,000 oz reserve comprising 16 Mt at 0.91 g/t Au and 1.13 g/t Ag.

Turkey’s Çiftay Inşaat starts work on Chaarat’s Kyrgyzstan gold project

AIM-listed Chaarat has issued an update on its Tulkubash oxide gold deposit in the Kyrgyz Republic, saying mining contractor Çiftay Inşaat has started deploying equipment to site.

A notice to proceed was issued to the contractor on August 31, with initial activities acting as a pre-cursor to full-scale construction at the heap leach project in 2019.

A feasibility study from April indicated a 95,200 oz/y mine operating at an all-in sustaining cost of $831/oz could be built for $132 million of upfront capital. This was based on a 500,000 oz reserve comprising 16 Mt at 0.91 g/t Au and 1.13 g/t Ag. First gold is expected at the end of 2020.

Ҫiftay’s initial operations at Tulkubash will focus on building a temporary 50-person camp for the initial construction forces, partial construction of a permanent camp housing 200 personnel (to be expanded to 360 personnel next year), establishing a temporary maintenance shop, installing a 5 km haul road between the mine and process facilities, building the Kumbel pass-to-site portion of the access road and initial clearing, and grubbing of the heap leach pad area.

These activities are expected to lead to full-scale construction of the Tulkubash heap leach project in the June quarter of 2019, Chaarat said, noting basic engineering for the process plant was already complete and detailed engineering was in progress.

“The heap leach facility design is being finalised and the application for Kyrgyz regulatory approval of the design is being compiled,” the company said.

Chaarat plans to use its own project management team alongside strategic engineering support to form the project delivery team.