Alacer Contemplates 2-Stage Development for Gediktepe • Philippine Audit Suggests Suspension for 20 Mines

Alacer Contemplates 2-Stage Development for Gediktepe

Alacer Gold has reported positive results for a prefeasibility study of its 50% owned Gediktepe polymetallic project 190 km south of Istanbul, Turkey. Alacer will own Gediktepe on a 50/50 basis with its joint-venture partner, Lidya Mining, upon completion of a claw-back right exercised by Alacer. Lidya Mining is the operator.

Gediktepe is a polymetallic orebody that contains economic values for gold, silver, copper, and zinc. A sulphide deposit is overlain by oxide ore containing gold and silver that is amenable to heap leaching.

Gediktepe will be an open-pit mine. Oxide ore will be processed first to provide cash flow for the development and subsequent processing of the more prevalent sulphide ore. The sulphide ore contains gold, silver, copper, and zinc and will be processed through a multistage flotation circuit.

Capital expenditures to develop the oxide project are estimated at $111 million. All-in costs are estimated at $763/gold equivalent oz.

Sulphide processing is planned at 6,500 metric tons per day (mt/d) over a 10-year period utilizing two four-stage flotation circuits to produce a copper concentrate and zinc concentrate. Life-of-mine sulphide production is estimated at 315 million lb of copper, 780 million lb of zinc, 150,000 oz of gold, and 4.6 million oz of silver.

Sulphide capital expenditures are estimated at $135 million, including $9 million in pre-production capital, $104 million spent during the first two years of production, and $22 million in sustaining capital. All-in costs are estimated at $1.67/copper equivalent lb.

The Gediktepe project is now moving into a detailed study phase, where technical work will continue to advance along with basic engineering. During this phase, necessary land use permits will be secured and financing options will be considered.

Alacer Gold is also 80% owner and operator of the Çöpler gold mine in eastern Turkey. Çöpler production during 2016 is forecast at 150,000 to 170,000 oz at total cash costs of $575 to $625/oz. Çöpler’s oxide ore is currently being processed in a conventional crush, agglomeration, heap-leach, and gold-recovery circuit. Construction of a sulphide project is currently in progress.

A drill crew sinks exploration holes for the Gediktepe polymetallic project 190 km south of Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: Alacer Gold)
A drill crew sinks exploration holes for the Gediktepe polymetallic project 190 km south of Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: Alacer Gold)

Philippine Audit Suggests Suspension for 20 Mines

Almost 75% of the mining industry in the Philippines has been found deficient after an environmental audit, with 20 mines recommended for suspension unless they can respond to shortcomings within days. If the additional mines recommended for suspension are halted, it would bring to 30 the number closed, 18 of them nickel producers.

Most of the operations cited are nickel mines. Environment Undersecretary Leo Jasareno told reporters at a briefing in Manila that the nickel mines already closed, together with those recommended for suspension, accounted for 56% of production by value last year. He said the most common violations were siltation, dust, lack of tree-cutting permits and unsystematic mining methods.

Jasareno presented the initial findings of the audit with Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who said she planned to meet with miners that haven’t passed the test before making a final decision on their status, as well as those who did.

“I want to make it clear, I have no beef against the mining industry but I am against the adverse effects happening in some of the situations,” said Lopez. “At the end of the day, what we want is a mining industry that is much, much more committed to the common good,” she added.

Among those recommended for suspension are Libjo Mining Corp.; AAM-Phil Natural Resources Exploration and Development Corp.-Parcel 1 and Parcel 2B; Krominco Inc.; Carrascal Nickel Corp.; Marcventures Mining and Development Corp.; Filminera Resources Corp.; Strongbuilt Mining Development Corp.; Sinosteel Philippines HY Mining Corp.; Oriental Synergy Mining Corp.; Wellex Mining Corp.; Century Peak Corp.-Rapid City Nickel Project and Casiguran Nickel Project; Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp.; CTP Construction and Mining Corp.; Agata Mining Ventures Inc.; Hinatuan Mining Corp.; Benguet Corp.; Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co.; OceanaGold Phils Inc.; Adnama Mining Resources Inc.; and SR Metals Inc.

Jasareno said each miner would be given the audit report and seven days “to explain their violations.” The agency would review the responses and decide whether to impose the suspension, he said, adding that miners would be able to appeal.

The 11 mining firms not recommended for suspension, but will continue to be monitored, include Philex Mining Corp.; Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp.; Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp.; Techiron Resources Inc.; Cagdianao Mining Corp.; Taganito Mining Corp.; Platinum Group Metals Corp.; Greenstone Resources Corp.; Philsaga Mining Corp.; Pacific Nickel Philippines Inc.; and Apex Mining Co. Inc.

Ronald Recidoro of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, said the audit “was done in a punitive manner rather than objectively,” and questioned the grounds for suspensions. “Some of the grounds that were cited (for violations) were manageable and can be remedied in seven days but the rest are vague.”