“Commercial production at Öksüt marks a major milestone for the company. Öksüt was delivered on time and under budget,” chief executive Scott Perry said in a media statement.
The Turkish mine, located in the country’s south central Kayseri province, was planned as a conventional truck and shovel open pit heap leach operation, with a stacking rate of 11,000 tonnes per day.
The initial eight-year mine life was expected to process approximately 1.2 million contained ounces of gold from two open pits, the Keltepe pit and the smaller Güneytepe pit.
Centerra, which acquired the asset in 2013, rejected in April an offer by Premier Gold (TSX: PG to acquire a 50% interest in a joint project with Greenstone Gold Mines.
The partnership is developing the Hardrock gold asset in Ontario, Canada. The project is touted as one of the most significant large-scale, near permitted, mine development opportunities in North America.
Company-wide gold production in the first quarter rose to 190,474 ounces from 183,563 ounces in the same period a year ago, Centerra said in its last earnings report.
That included 152,307 ounces at Kumtor, 33,681 ounces at Mount Milligan and 4,486 at Öksüt during the start-up phase.
Copper production at Mount Milligan during the first quarter was 20.1 million pounds.