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Eldorado Gold counting down to open its first mine in Canada

Sigma Mill at Lamaque. (Image courtesy of Eldorado Gold.)

Canada’s Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD)(NYSE:EGO) is getting close to opening its first mine in Canada — the Lamaque project in Val d’Or, Quebec, which it grabbed after acquiring Integra Gold in 2017 and is expected to come online during the first quarter of the year.

Delivering full year and last quarter of 2018 results, the Vancouver-based company said pre-commercial production from the operation had already supported production results for the last three months of the year, which came in at 75,877 ounces.

Total output for last year reached 349,147 ounces of gold, which exceeded the company’s target of 290,000 to 330,000 gold ounces and it also surpassed by 16% the total produced in 2017, which was 292,971 ounces.

Lamaque underground gold mine in Val d’Or, Quebec, is expected to produce 123,000 ounces of the precious metal annually over 10 years.

Eldorado president and CEO George Burns said the team working at the company’s Olympias mine in Greece had made progress in addressing challenges relating to the blending of the ore feed to the mill and start-up of the newly installed paste plant.

“Ore feed blending impacted metallurgical performance and contributed to lower second half production and higher costs. With better control of the blend anticipated, we expect 2019 to be a better year for both mining and processing at Olympias,” Burns said.

The company didn’t refer to the status of its application to obtain a compensation of 750 million euros (about $851 million) from Greece for damages suffered due to delays in the issuance of permits for its Skouries project.

Differences between Eldorado and the Greek government over the miner’s plans to produce gold and other metals in the northern region of Halkidiki have dragged on for years, mainly over environmental regulations.

The company’s Lamaque will be an underground gold mine with an annual average output of 117,000 ounces of the precious metal at all-in sustaining costs of $717 per ounce over seven years. The operation, together with Eldorado’s Kışladağ gold mine in Turkey, are helping the company to strengthen its footprint outside Greece.