Centerra Gold (TSX: CG; NYSE: CGAU) is set to resume full operations at the Öksüt mine after receiving approval from the Turkish Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change for its amended environmental impact assessment (EIA).
In March 2022, Centerra temporarily suspended gold doré bar production at Öksüt after mercury was detected in the gold room at the ADR (adsorption, desorption and recovery) plant. To allow processing of the mercury-bearing ores, it subsequently completed the construction of a mercury abatement system, which was tested under the supervision of the ministry earlier this year.
Following inspections by the ministry in 2022, it was also determined that an updated EIA should be prepared and submitted to clarify various production and other capacity limits, and to align the EIA production levels with current operating plans.
Centerra completed its technical review meeting with local authorities at the end of March 2023 and posted its EIA for public comment in late April, with no significant comments received. The company then submitted the EIA for final ministry approval.
With the EIA approval, along with the receipt of regulatory approvals for the mercury abatement retrofit to the ADR plant, Centerra said it expects full operations to restart at Öksüt in the coming weeks.
Centerra will be in a position to begin processing the gold-in-carbon inventory on hand of approximately 100,000 recoverable ounces. The ADR plant will have the capacity to produce gold at a rate of approximately 35,000 ounces per month.
Located in the Kayseri province of south-central Turkey, Öksüt is Centerra’s third operating mine, pouring its first gold in January 2020 and achieving commercial production five months later.
Shares of Centerra Gold rebounded from a three-week slump, up 11.5% by 12:30 p.m. EDT. The Toronto-based gold miner has a market capitalization of C$1.8 billion ($1.3bn).