Kinross Gold reports that as of late March 2011, 26 drill rigs were active at its Tasiast operations in Mauritania and a feasibility study for expansion of gold production from 56,600 gold equivalent ounces in 2010 to annual production of about 1.5 million gold equivalent ounces by 2014 was on track for completion by mid-year 2011. Activity during the first quarter of 2011 included commitments for approximately $204 million in new equipment, including $103 million for 17 Caterpillar 793D haul trucks, two Bucyrus RH340 hydraulic shovels, four Caterpillar D10 track dozers, and two Caterpillar 854 wheel dozers and $101 million for a SAG mill and two ball mills, wrap-around motors for the mills, and three crushers.
The feasibility study was 36% complete, with the site layout determined and process flow sheets completed. Permitting in support of the project was proceeding on schedule.
The scoping study for the Tasiast expansion envisions increasing mill capacity from 8,000 to 68,000 mt/d and increasing average annual gold production to approximately 1.5 million for the first eight years of production. The expansion project remains on schedule to begin operation early in 2014.