Mauritania – Canada-based miner Kinross Gold has initiated discussions with the Government of Mauritania and employee representatives regarding cost saving measures – one option being considered is a potential workforce reduction – the company said on Thursday.

Kinross said that while Tasiast remains an attractive brownfield growth opportunity with a significant mineral resource base, in order to leverage Tasiast’s future potential, the company will continue to look for ways to reduce costs and advance growth opportunities in a financially disciplined way.

The Tasiast mine, located in north-western Mauritania began commercial operations in 2008, and is mined using conventional open pit mining methods.

Following a decision taken in the first quarter to defer the 38 000 t/d mill expansion in order to preserve balance sheet strength, as a result of the weak gold price, Kinross continues to focus on optimising the Tasiast operation to enhance performance and reduce costs. The company will also continue to assess market conditions with a view to possibly expanding Tasiast, should circumstances change.

Resultantly, Kinross is exploring opportunities to optimise mill throughput to address the hardness of the higher grade ore.

One concept, which is currently being analysed, involves enhancing the comminution circuit with the installation of additional grinding equipment to improve milling capacity. The objective is to optimise throughput in the near term, while preserving optionality for a possible future expansion at the appropriate time.

Tasiast’s production increased in the second quarter as a result of higher mill grades and mill recoveries but decreased when compared to the comparable quarter last year, due to the wind-down of the dump leach.

Production cost of sales per ounce increased year-on-year due mainly to higher maintenance and material supply costs.

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