Kinross flags $US1bn ex­pan­sion spend

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS: INTERNATIONAL - Cameron Dru­mond

CANA­DIAN miner Kinross Gold Corp has an­nounced it will spend more than $US1 bil­lion on ex­pan­sion projects in West Africa and the US.

The com­pany plans to pro­ceed with a $US590 mil­lion Phase 2 ex­pan­sion of its Tasi­ast gold mine in Mau­ri­ta­nia, rais­ing its milling ca­pac­ity from 12,000 tonnes per day (t/d) to 30,000 t/d.

The ex­pan­sion would re­place the two cur­rent ball mills with a new larger ball mill, and add new leach­ing, thick­en­ing and re­fin­ery ca­pac­ity and ad­di­tions to the min­ing fleet, and a new power plant would be added to power the 30,000 t/d mill.

The up­grade was ex­pected to in­crease gold pro­duc­tion at the project to 812,000 ounces per an­num (ozpa) for the first five years at all-in sus­tain­ing costs of $US655/oz.

The com­pany said the project would gen­er­ate free cash flow of $US2.2bn over the life of the mine.

Con­struc­tion has been slated for early next year, with an aim to reach com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion by Q3 2020.

Kinross said it would also spend a fur­ther $US445m to add five years of mine life to its Round Moun­tain project in Ne­vada, pend­ing com­ple­tion of the per­mit­ting process – which Kinross said was pro­ceed­ing as planned – adding 1.5 mil­lion ounces of gold re­serves.

The miner said it ex­pected to fi­nance the projects through its strong bal­ance sheet and a liq­uid­ity of about $2.5bn.

“Our de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with the Tasi­ast Phase Two ex­pan­sion un­der­scores our de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­alise the po­ten­tial of this world-class as­set and gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant value for our share­hold­ers,” Kinross chief ex­ec­u­tive J. Paul Rollinson said.

“This strong im­prove­ment in Tasi­ast’s per­for­mance is ex­pected to pos­i­tively im­pact over­all com­pany per­for­mance met­rics, strength­en­ing our pro­duc­tion pro­file and in­creas­ing cash flow.

“We have ap­plied the same fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal rigour to the Phase W ex­pan­sion at Round Moun­tain.

“Lower op­er­at­ing costs, com­bined with an op­ti­mized mine plan, have con­trib­uted to a fur­ther de-risk­ing of the project and im­proved re­turns.”

Im­age: Kinross Gold Corp.

Kinross is the world’s fifth largest gold pro­ducer.

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