Eldorado Gold Corp. reported it has received multiple tenders for significantly better concentrate sales terms at Olympias Phase II, where wet commissioning at the project is currently under way. Under the new sales terms, gold payability rates have increased from 58% up to a maximum of 71%, which is expected to result in an increase of approximately 15,000 ounces (oz) of payable gold production per year. Phase II production is now estimated to be approximately 85,000 oz per year (oz/y) of gold — from 72,000 oz/y previously — plus approximately 55,000 oz of gold equivalent production.
A pre-existing gold-silver-lead-zinc mine located in Greece’s Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece, Olympias is being redeveloped in three phases. It has very high gold grades and an orebody that will allow for mining rates up to 1 million metric tons per year (mt/y).
“After a lot of hard work by our team in Greece, we are all very excited to now be at this juncture with commissioning and we expect to declare commercial production from Olympias Phase II in the third quarter,” said Paul Skayman, COO, Eldorado Gold.
The construction of Phase II is substantially complete and commissioning has commenced. Addition of low grade ore to the crushing circuit is expected next week. Pre-commissioning of the main flotation plant equipment is under way and ore will be introduced in April. Deliveries of first-fill reagents, grinding media, critical and operational spares are on schedule to support second-quarter pre-commercial production.
Mined ore has been moved to the surface stockpile adjacent to the crusher for commissioning of the processing facility. Underground development is well positioned to support 2017 production guidance with 14 stopes in ore on nine different levels complete and ready for extraction. Ore mining will begin shortly in both the east and west ore zones using a drift-and-fill mining method.
Phase II involves processing ore from the underground at a rate of approximately 400,000 mt/y. The new processing facility includes new processing equipment within the pre-existing plant building to produce three concentrates: lead-silver, zinc and gold-bearing pyrite-arsenopyrite. In 2017, the Olympias mine is budgeted to process 267,000 mt of ore at grades of 9.6 g/mt of gold, 3.4% lead, 3.4% zinc and 105 g/mt of silver.