Steppe kicks off production at ATO gold mine in Mongolia

ATO mine site. (Image courtesy of Steppe Gold).

Toronto-listed Steppe Gold (TSX: STGO) announced this week that its Altan Tsagaan Ovoo gold mine, (ATO) is now fully permitted and that gold production has already started.

In a press release, Steppe said that it has mined, crushed and stacked approximately 300,000 tonnes of ore at a grade of 2.13g/t gold on the leach pad.

Based on these early results and the fact that the mining, crushing and stacking program is ongoing, the company expects next year’s production to reach approximately 60,000 ounces of the yellow metal.

Given that the mine’s initial phase is completed, Steppe’s management now wants to move ahead with a feasibility study into what it calls the “Stage 2 Expansion Project.” The aim of such expansion is to increase annual gold production to 150,000 ounces per annum from underlying fresh rock ores.

The  5,492-hectare Altan Tsagaan Ovoo gold and silver operation is located in the territory of Tsagaan Ovoo soum, in the Dornod province of eastern Mongolia. 

A 2017 technical report on the project proposed a development plan for an open-pit, heap leach operation that, once at full capacity, should be able to produce 146,699 ounces of gold and 672,518 ounces silver per year.

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