Aerial view of the Tocantinzinho project camp in northern Brazil. (Photo: Eldorado Gold)
Eldorado Gold has completed a feasibility study of its open-pit Tocantinzinho gold project in Pará state, northern Brazil. The study assumes a processing rate of 4 million mt/y through a three-stage crushing and ball mill circuit. Overall recoveries from flotation and cyanide leach circuits are expected to be 90% and 75% for primary ore and saprolite ore, respectively. Gold production in doré bullion is projected to average 165,000 oz/y over a mine life of 10 years.
Initial capital costs to develop the Tocantinzinho project are estimated at $466 million. Sustaining capital, including closure costs, is estimated at $64 million. Cash operating costs are estimated at $572/oz.
Tocantinzinho’s proven and probable reserves total 41.1 million mt at a grade of 1.43 g/mt gold for 1.9 million oz of contained gold. Reserves were calculated using a $1,250/oz gold price and cutoff grades of 0.41 g/mt for primary ore and 0.43 g/mt for saprolite ore.
The final pit contains approximately 1.9 million mt of saprolite ore and 39.2 million mt of primary ore, with 145 million mt of waste, resulting in an overall strip ratio of 3.5:1. Mining will be conducted using 5-m benches in the saprolite zone and 10-m benches in the primary zone.
Eldorado’s announcement of the Tocantinzinho feasibility study concluded, “Eldorado is pleased to have demonstrated a positive economic performance for the Tocantinzinho project. The remote location of the project presents challenges to the costs; however, a conventional approach to mining and processing provides a solid platform on which to develop this well-defined gold deposit. Opportunities to improve the economics and value of the project have been identified during the course of the study. These areas will continue to be investigated as development of the project continues.”