Kyrgyzstan’s Kumtor mine produces over 17 tons of gold in 2016


BISHKEK (TCA) — Canadian-based gold mining company Centerra Gold Inc. and Kumtor Gold Company have said gold production at the Kumtor mine, the largest gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, was 550,960 ounces, or 17,136.78 kg, of gold for the full year 2016.

In 2015, the Kumtor mine produced 16,195.4 kg of gold.

The Kumtor mine exceeded the mid-point (540,000 ounces) of Centerra’s favourably revised gold production outlook issued after last year’s third quarter, Centerra said in a press release.

The company has also announced Kumtor’s production outlook for 2017, in which production forecast is expected to be in the range of 455,000 ounces to 505,000 ounces with 30% of the production expected to be in the fourth quarter of the year.

2017 total capital expenditures at Kumtor, excluding capitalized stripping, are forecast to be $96 million. Spending on sustaining capital of $68 million relates primarily to major overhauls and replacements of the heavy duty mine equipment ($58 million), major overhauls and replacements of mill equipment ($3 million) and other items ($7 million), Centerra said.

Growth capital investment at Kumtor for 2017 is forecast at $28 million and includes the relocation of certain infrastructure at Kumtor related to the life-of-mine expansion plan amounting to $9 million, tailings dam construction ($11 million), purchase of new mining equipment ($4 million), dewatering projects ($2 million) and other items ($2 million). The tailings dam construction in 2017 is the first such construction required to contain the additional 3.6 million ounces of gold reserves that resulted from the KS-13 pit expansion. As such, it is classified as growth capital. This initial raise is the start of a 3-year program that will not be completed until 2019 (total estimated cost of $32 million), the company said.

The Kyrgyz government owns a nearly 33 percent stake in the Kumtor project, with Centerra controlling the rest.

The Kumtor mine accounts for the largest part of Kyrgyzstan’s industrial production and is a major taxpayer to the country’s state budget.

Sergey Kwan