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Centerra receives permits to re-start mining at Kumtor

The vast open pit Kumtor mine is Kyrgyzstan’s largest gold operation. (Image courtesy of Kumtor Gold)

Centerra Gold has announced that it received approvals and permits to re-start open pit mining at its Kumtor operation.

The Kyrgyz state agency has approved Centerra’s mine development plan for this year which includes a revised waste dumping plan and safety measures with waste placement in the Central Valley and Sarytor waste rock dumps.

Open pit mining is ramping up with full production rates expected in the next few days; the mill is currently processing stockpiled ore.

In December, Centerra reported a significant movement at the Lysii waste rock dump at Kumtor. Two employees were missing following the incident. While open pit mining was halted with a re-evaluation of the mine plan; the mill continued to process stockpiled ore with sufficient stockpiles at the site to maintain expected gold output through to the end of 2020.

The mining fronts and infrastructure were not impacted by the material movement.

Centerra is completing an internal review and cooperating with the Kyrgyz authorities on an inquiry into the Lysii waste rock dump. Following a six-week search, the two missing employees were not located and the company has stopped the search effort with consent of the families involved and the Kyrgyz state.

In addition to Kumtor, Centerra Gold operates the Mount Milligan mine in B.C., is building the Oksut gold mine in Turkey and holds the Kemess and Greenstone projects in Canada.

Latest company-wide production guidance for 2019 was for approximately 748,000 gold oz. at all-in sustaining costs of $728 per oz., with Kumtor contributing 575,000 oz. to 590,000 oz. at AISCs of $635 to $685 per oz.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)