Alacer announces 6% increase in gold production to 106,226 ounces for second quarter
TORONTO, July 24, 2012 /CNW/ – Alacer Gold Corp. ("Alacer" or the "Company") [TSX: ASR and ASX: AQG] is pleased to announce second quarter 2012 mine production results for its operations in Turkey and Australia. Second quarter 2012 financial statements and the related management's discussion and analysis are planned to be released on August 14, 2012 (North America) and August 15, 2012 (Australia).
Second Quarter 2012 Highlights
- Second quarter gold production totalled 106,226 ounces (attributable1: 95,984 ounces) which was 6% more than the gold production of 100,290 ounces achieved in Q1 2012.
- Second quarter gold sold totalled 108,844 ounces (attributable: 97,615 ounces).
- Çöpler gold production for the quarter increased 15% to 51,212 ounces (attributable: 40,970 ounces) compared to Q1 2012, with ore production from the Marble and Main open pits ramping up following the relocation of the old Çöpler village.
- Higginsville gold production increased 6% to 35,227 ounces for the quarter compared to Q1 2012 as a result of increased plant throughput and ore sourced from three mines displacing the processing of low-grade ore stockpiles.
- Chalice underground mine development proceeded ahead of schedule, with the initial development ore from the Atlas Lode delivered to the Higginsville treatment plant on June 15, 2012.
- Alacer's Board of Directors approved an exploration decline to access Higginsville's high-grade Corona deposit and for exploratory drilling from underground.
- Gold production from South Kalgoorlie Operations ("SKO") for the quarter decreased 12% to 19,787 ounces compared to Q1 2012, largely due to rain limiting haulage of ore to the Jubilee plant from both the Frog's Leg underground mine and the Triumph open pit.
Edward Dowling, President and CEO of Alacer, stated "Alacer's gold production of 106,226 ounces for the second quarter was 6% more than the first quarter. Çöpler benefitted from the release of gold from ore stacked on the leach pads during the severe winter conditions in the first quarter. Higginsville's gold production is expected to increase over the course of 2012 with Chalice ore production ramping up over the coming months.
Our guidance for 2012 gold production remains between 435,000 and 450,000 ounces on a 100% basis for the mines which we operate or 396,000 to 410,000 ounces on an attributable basis. We remain focused on controlling costs at all of our mines with asset optimization and equipment utilization initiatives already making a positive effect on plant throughput and mining of high-grade ore during the quarter."
Çöpler Gold Mine (80% owned)
Mine (100% basis)
1Gold recovery rate is indicative of the modeled recovery of ore placed on the heap-leach pad during the respective quarter.
- Çöpler gold production of 51,212 ounces (attributable: 40,970 ounces) was 15% more than the previous quarter (Q1: 44,564 ounces, Q1 attributable: 35,651 ounces) due to the release of gold placed on the heaps during the unusually severe winter conditions in Q1 2012.
- During the quarter, ore was sourced from the Manganese open pit (982,175 tonnes), the Marble open pit (454,952 tonnes) and the Main Zone open pits (200,921 tonnes).
- Run-of-mine ore placed directly on the heap-leach pad totalled 691,867 tonnes at 1.1g/t gold (Q1: 844,036 tonnes).
- A total of 924,419 tonnes at 2.1g/t gold were crushed and stacked on the leach pad during the quarter (Q1: 932,523 tonnes crushed). Higher grade clay-rich ore from the Marble and Main Zone open pits restricted crusher throughput, and necessitated blending with harder ore from the Manganese open pit.
- Longer term to increase Çöpler's capacity to produce crushed/agglomerated ore to at least 20,000 tonnes per day, a stand-alone clay sizing and conveying circuit will be installed by early 2013.
- The tertiary crusher screen damaged by a fire during the first quarter was replaced in June 2012.
- The Çöpler Sulfide Feasibility Study remains on track for completion in late 2012.
- Drilling continued to define extensions to the Çöpler deposit during the quarter, particularly in the previously un-drilled area under the old Çöpler village.
Higginsville Gold Operations (100% owned)
- Higginsville gold production increased 6% to 35,227 ounces of gold for the quarter (Q1: 33,239 ounces), primarily due to increased plant throughput.
- Higginsville treatment plant achieved 345,134 tonnes for the quarter and a record monthly throughput of 120,138 tonnes in June 2012.
- Ore treated was sourced from the Trident underground mine (269,528 tonnes), the Vine open pit (33,276 tonnes) and the Chalice underground mine (4,436 tonnes). As a result of higher mining production during the quarter, ore treated from the low-grade stockpile reduced to 37,360 tonnes (Q1: 73,177 tonnes).
- High-grade ore mined totalled 270,465 tonnes (Q1: 254,314 tonnes) at 3.8g/t gold (Q1: 4.1g/t). Additional low-grade ore mined from the Trident underground mine and Vine open pit totalled 101,448 tonnes at 1.1g/t.
- Ore mined from Trident increased to 254,736 tonnes (Q1: 250,066 tonnes) at an average grade of 3.8g/t gold for the quarter (Q1: 4.2g/t). Trident ore production of 504,802 tonnes for H1 2012 is the highest half-year productivity achieved since 2009.
- The Trident decline reached the 682mRL at the end of the quarter, with the first Helios and Artemis ore development being expected on the 600mRL.
- Testing of the gap in drilling between the Helios and Artemis Lodes continued from the 744mRL underground drill platform as well as infill drilling of these deeper lodes in preparation for 2013 mine planning.
- Initial Chalice development ore from the Atlas Lode was delivered ahead of plan to the Higginsville treatment plant on June 15, 2012. Mining of stope ore from the Atlas Lode is now planned to commence in Q3 2012 rather than Q4 2012.
- Chalice mine development continues to focus on the declines, drill platform development and surface infrastructure construction. The Olympus decline has reached the 1,081mRL.
- Infill drilling of the previously sparsely drilled area between Atlas and the deeper Olympus Lode continued during the quarter and is aimed at delineating reserves to add into the near-term mine plan for Chalice.
- The Vine open pit contributed 10,793 tonnes at 3.1g/t gold of high-grade ore and 66,355 tonnes at 1.1g/t gold of low-grade ore during the quarter. Mining of the Vine pit was extended and is now planned to be completed in Q3 2012.
- Ore stockpiles at Higginsville totalled approximately 70,000 tonnes at 1.1g/t gold at quarter end.
Corona Underground Project Exploration Drive Approved
- The Alacer Board approved an exploration decline to access the Corona deposit and for exploratory drilling from underground.
- The Corona deposit is located approximately 2km southeast of the Higginsville treatment plant, and will be accessed via a single 0.95km decline using the Fairplay open pit as a portal location.
- The high-grade core of the Corona deposit is located 200m to 350m below surface (see exploration announcement dated May 7, 2012) which warrants access to further determine its true value.
- The Corona exploration decline will also provide underground drill platforms for approximately 1km of strike along the highly prospective Higginsville Line of Lode.
- The project will require approximately nine months of site establishment and development for an estimated cost of $11 million. This work will provide infrastructure and access to commence high-grade ore development at Corona.
South Kalgoorlie Operations (100% owned except for 49% interest in Frog's Legs Mine)
(including Frog's Legs)
- Gold production from SKO (including Frog's Leg ore) decreased to 19,787 ounces for the quarter (Q1: 22,397 ounces).
- Gold production from processing Frog's Leg ore decreased to 10,858 ounces (Q1: 13,590 ounces), due to processing 76,076 tonnes (Q1: 87,028 tonnes) at a lower grade of 4.88g/t gold (Q1: 5.20g/t). Surface haulage was rain affected in June 2012, resulting in an ore stockpile of 17,540 tonnes at 5.45g/t gold containing 3,074 ounces remaining at the Frog's Leg underground mine at quarter end.
- Gold production from processing South Kalgoorlie open-pit ore increased slightly to 8,929 ounces (Q1: 8,807 ounces), as a result of processing higher tonnage of 257,883 tonnes (Q1: 238,598 tonnes) at a slightly lower grade of 1.18g/t gold (Q1: 1.30g/t).
- Haulage of ore from the Triumph open pit was also impacted by rain. At quarter end, a stockpile of 67,546 tonnes at 1.46g/t gold remained at Triumph.
- Total ore processed through the Jubilee plant increased 3% to 333,959 tonnes for the quarter (Q1: 325,626 tonnes).
- Alacer's 49% share of ore mined at Frog's Leg during the quarter totalled 88,584 tonnes (Q1: 73,800 tonnes) at an average grade of 5.0g/t gold (Q1: 5.8g/t).
- Ore mined from the Triumph and Pernatty open pits totalled 175,249 tonnes at 1.5g/t gold during the quarter and these pits will continue to provide ore for the remainder of 2012.
- On July 16, 2012, Alacer announced that the SKO Expansion Project ("SKOEP") will not proceed at this time. This decision follows a comprehensive evaluation of the project which demonstrated that a higher level of engineering and geological confidence is required to justify the expansion. Alacer continues to examine the many options available to unlock the value in this large, well-endowed goldfield.
Second Quarter 2012 Production Statistics
|O/P ore m
1For Çöpler, recovery rate is indicative of the modeled recovery of ore placed on the heap-leach pad during the respective quarter.
2Ounces produced is gold poured and includes net change of gold‐in‐circuit, except Çöpler which is ounces poured.
3Attributable gold reflects Alacer Gold's 80% ownership of Çöpler.
Financial Results and Conference Call
Second quarter 2012 financial statements and management's discussion and analysis are planned to be released on Tuesday, August 14 (North America) and Wednesday, August 15 (Australia). Alacer will host a conference call on Tuesday, August 14 at 6:00 pm (North America Eastern Daylight Time) and Wednesday, August 15 at 8:00 am (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
You may participate in the conference call by dialing:
|1-800-327-5138||for U.S. and Canada|
|800-968-103||for Hong Kong|
|0-800-404-7656||for United Kingdom|
If you are unable to participate in the call, a recording of the call will be available on Alacer's website at www.AlacerGold.com or through replay until August 28, 2012 by using passcode 4842265 and calling:
|1-888-203-1112||for U.S. and Canada|
|800-901-108||for Hong Kong|
|0-808-101-1153||for United Kingdom|
Alacer Gold Corp is a leading intermediate gold mining company with interests in multiple mines which provide ore to three processing facilities in Australia and Turkey:
- 80% interest in the Çöpler Gold Mine;
- 100% interest in the Higginsville Gold Operations;
- 100% interest in the South Kalgoorlie Gold Operations; and
- 49% interest in the Frog's Leg Gold Mine.
Alacer's operations produced a total of 421,204 ounces of gold during 2011.
Alacer is pursuing a rapid growth strategy. The primary focus is organic growth from current operations and the Company's extensive gold and copper exploration properties in Australia and Turkey.
Except for statements of historical fact relating to Alacer, certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, or financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may be contained in this document and other public filings of Alacer. Forward-looking information often relates to statements concerning Alacer's future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "projects", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.
Forward-looking information includes statements concerning, among other things, matters relating to proposed exploration, communications with local stakeholders and community relations, status of negotiations of joint ventures, weather conditions at our operations, commodity prices, mineral resources, mineral reserves, realization of mineral reserves, existence or realization of mineral resource estimates, the development approach, the timing and amount of future production, timing of studies and analyses, the timing of construction of proposed mines and process facilities, capital and operating expenditures, economic conditions, availability of sufficient financing, exploration plans and any and all other timing, exploration, development, operational, financial, budgetary, economic, legal, social, regulatory and political factors that may influence future events or conditions. Such forward-looking information and statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any manner to, those disclosed in any other of Alacer's filings, and include exploration results and the ability to explore, the ultimate determination of mineral reserves, availability and final receipt of required approvals, titles, licenses and permits, sufficient working capital to develop and operate the mines, access to adequate services and supplies, commodity prices, ability to meet production targets, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, access to capital markets and associated cost of funds, availability of a qualified work force, ability to negotiate, finalize and execute relevant agreements, lack of social opposition to the mines, lack of legal challenges with respect to the property of Alacer and the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell mineral products on economically favorable terms. While we consider these factors and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to us, they may prove to be incorrect.
You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information and statements. Forward-looking information and statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties disclosed in Alacer's filings at www.sedar.com and other unforeseen events or circumstances. Other than as required by law, Alacer does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information to reflect, among other things, new information or future events.
1Attributable gold production reflects Alacer's 80% ownership of the Çöpler Gold Mine.
SOURCE: ALACER GOLD CORP.
For further information:Edward Dowling or Lisa Maestas – North America at +1-303-292-1299
Roger Howe – Australia at +61-2-9953-2470