London, England — 29 March 2012 – Construction has commenced on the Stage 4 expansion of the process plant at Centamin plc’s Sukari gold mine in Egypt, which is designed to include a new primary crusher, coarse ore stockpile, milling, flotation and thickening circuits, along with all associated infrastructure.
A company announcement here says the new expansion project “’ which will increase plant throughput to about 10.0Mtpa “’ will cost an estimated US$287 million, and commissioning of the operation is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013.
The level of gold production from the Sukari mine post the Stage 4 expansion will depend on many factors with one of the biggest drivers being the mix between surface and underground ore delivered to the processing plant, and feed grade from those sources, the statement explains.
The current NI 43-101 shows a drop in head grade below 1 g/t for mined ore from the open pit in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 the head grade recovers to approximately 1.2 g/t and process grade to 1.6g/t. This preliminary mining plan is currently being re-optimised with new life of mine schedules being run to increase the ore grade accessed from the pit and delivered to the processing plant to between 1.1 and 1.2 g/t consistently. It is expected that this work will be completed early May.
The statement adds that targeted tonnes and grade for ore to be moved from the underground in 2012 are 30 to350,000t at 10 to 12g/t, principally from the Amun decline. From 2014 onwards, with the introduction of both development and stoping ore from the Ptah decline, the underground feed-in is targeted to be in the order of 600- to 650,000t.
While based on the current surface and underground mining plan (and combined with a very conservative build up in milling rates) production of 500,000ozpa will be achieved by 2016 (which is in-line with existing NI 43-101 mine plan). Optimisation is underway which management believes will result in overall improvement in the production outlook for 2014 and 2015.
Source: Centamin plc. For further details click here.