Kinross GoldCorp. said March 30 that it is proceeding with the phase oneexpansion of its Tasiastgold mine in Mauritania, which will increase mill throughput capacity from thecurrent 8,000 tonnes per day to 12,000 tonnes per day while significantlyreducing the project's operating costs and increasing production.
According to Kinross Gold President and CEO J. PaulRollinson, the expansion is forecast to reduce production cost at Tasiast by48% while increasing annual production by 87% compared to 2015.
Preparations for construction to install incrementalcrushing and grinding capacity to the existing carbon-in-leach circuit willbegin immediately, with phase one expected to reach full production by the endof the first quarter of 2018.
Estimated CapEx for phase one expansion is US$300 million.
Feasibility study highlights for phase one covering theyears 2018 to 2027 include an average annual production of 409,000 ounces ofgold, an all-in sustaining cost of US$760 per ounce and a production cost ofsales of US$535 per ounce. The internal rate of return for the expansion ispegged at 20%, with an after-tax, unlevered net present value of US$635 million.
Kinross has also released details on a pre-feasibility studyfor a combined expansion for both phases one and two, covering the years 2020to 2026, which will install an additional mill throughput of 18,000 tonnes perday for a total combined capacity of 30,000 tonnes per day.
This contemplates replacing the two current ball mills witha new larger ball mill, adding incremental power generation to the existing 20MW heavy fuel oil power plant and additional leaching and thickening capacity,upgrading the water supply infrastructure, and expanding the mine fleet.
Highlights included average annual production of 777,000ounces of gold, an all-in sustaining cost of US$665 per ounce and a productioncost of sales of US$460 per ounce.
CapEx is estimated at US$920 million, with an internal rateof return of 17% and a net present value of US$885 million.
"The two-phased approach strikes the right balancebetween growth and preserving balance sheet strength and is well-suited to thecurrent gold price environment," noted Rollinson.