Press release from PR Newswire
Alacer Gold Announces First Quarter Mine Production of 100,290 Ounces and Increased Production Guidance
Thursday, April 19, 2012
TORONTO, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Alacer Gold Corp. ("Alacer") (TSX: ASR) (ASX: AQG) is pleased to announce first quarter 2012 mine production for its operations in Turkey and Australia. First quarter 2012 financial statements and the related management's discussion and analysis are planned to be released on May 15, 2012 (North America) and May 16, 2012 (Australia).
First Quarter 2012 Highlights
- First quarter gold production totalled 100,290 ounces (attributable: 91,377 ounces) which was 12% less than the gold production of 113,861 ounces achieved in Q4 2011.
- First quarter gold sold totalled 107,835 ounces (attributable: 97,857 ounces).
- Çöpler Gold Mine gold production decreased to 44,564 ounces (attributable: 35,651 ounces) for the quarter compared to Q4 2011. Lower gold production was a result of challenging winter weather conditions, heavy snow fall and lower crusher throughput.
- Despite lower first quarter production than planned, management is increasing 2012 production guidance for Çöpler to between 195,000 and 200,000 ounces, and overall to between 435,000 and 450,000 ounces, each on a 100% basis.
- Development of Çöpler's Marble and Main Pits commenced during the quarter following the relocation of all the residents from the old Çöpler village.
- Gold production from the Higginsville Operations was 33,329 ounces for the quarter as a crusher failure reduced throughput and processing of high-grade Trident ore towards the end of the quarter.
- Ore mined from Trident was 250,066 tonnes for the quarter and productivity was near all-time highs not seen since the early days of mining the Trident orebody in 2008.
- Chalice underground mine development is on schedule for ore production to ramp-up over 2H 2012.
- At the South Kalgoorlie Operations ("SKO") production increased to 22,397 ounces of gold for the quarter, due to increased mill throughput from stockpiles and new open-pit ore sources.
- Resources and Reserves as at December 31, 2011:
- Çöpler Measured and Indicated Resources increased to 7.3 million ounces (100% basis).
- Higginsville Proven and Probable Reserves increased by 23% to 875,000 ounces (100% basis).
- Frog's Leg Proven and Probable Reserves increased by 36% to 385,000 ounces (Alacer's 49% share).
- Alacer's attributable Proven and Probable Reserves total 5.3 million ounces.
- Alacer's attributable Measured and Indicated Resources total 10.5 million ounces and attributable Inferred Resources total 3.4 million ounces.
Edward Dowling, President and CEO of Alacer, stated "Our active exploration program continues to bear fruit and during the quarter we announced increased resources for Çöpler, increased reserves for Higginsville and increased resources and reserves for Frog's Leg. Our teams have responded well to a challenging quarter for our Çöpler and Higginsville operations. This work has laid the foundations for quarterly gold production to increase over the course of 2012. The Çöpler 2012 mine plan has now been revised based on the recently updated resource model. Total gold production for 2012 is now forecast to increase to between 435,000 and 450,000 ounces on a 100% basis for the mines which we operate or 396,000 to 410,000 ounces on an attributable basis."
Revised 2012 Gold Production Guidance
As foreshadowed when the updated Çöpler Mineral Resource estimate was announced during the quarter, the increased grades in the new resource model have enabled the Çöpler 2012 mine schedule to be revised. Çöpler is now forecast to produce 195,000 to 200,000 ounces of gold during 2012 (previously 180,000 to 190,000 ounces). The guidance for Alacer's other operations remain the same.
|Previous Guidance 2012 Gold Production ('000 ounces)||Revised Guidance 2012 Gold Production ('000 ounces)|
|Çöpler||180 to 190||195 to 200|
|Higginsville||150 to 155||150 to 155|
|SKO - Frog's Legs1||50 to 53||50 to 53|
|SKO - Other||40 to 42||40 to 42|
|Total||420 to 440||435 to 450|
|Total - Attributable2||384 to 402||396 to 410|
|1||South Kalgoorlie Operations include Alacer Gold's 49% share of gold from the Frog's Legs Mine.|
|2||Attributable gold production reflects 80% ownership of Çöpler.|
Increased Çöpler production is forecast to lift total gold production to 435,000 to 450,000 ounces (attributable: 396,000 to 410,000 ounces) for 2012.
Updated cost guidance for 2012 is planned to be released with the first quarter management discussion and analysis in mid-May.
Çöpler Gold Mine (80% owned)
|Çöpler Gold Mine (100% basis)||Q1 20111||Q2 2011||Q3 2011||Q4 2011||Q1 2012|
|1||Çöpler achieved commercial production effective April 1, 2011.|
|2||Gold recovery rate is indicative of the modeled recovery of material placed during the current quarter.|
- Çöpler gold production decreased by 23% to 44,564 ounces (attributable: 35,651 ounces) for the quarter (Q4: 57,800 ounces). Gold adsorbed during the first quarter was 48,080 ounces.
- Very low temperatures and abnormally high snow falls during the first half of the quarter adversely impacted the performance of the mining fleet, crushing circuit and leaching rates.
- Development of the Marble and Main Pits commenced during the quarter following the relocation of all the residents from the old Çöpler village.
- The Manganese Pit provided 1,560,020 tonnes of ore during the quarter.
- Initial ore was mined from the Marble Pit in February 2012 which provided 204,660 tonnes of ore during the quarter.
- The head grade of 1.69g/t gold for the quarter (Q4: 1.70g/t) reflects ore mining from the lower elevations of the Manganese Pit. Ore processed through the crushing and agglomeration circuit was temporarily impacted by a fire in February 2012, which damaged one of two tertiary crusher screens. A by-pass system was quickly implemented to maintain production levels. A new screen is planned to be operational in June 2012, and the circuit should then consistently achieve at least the design throughput of 15,500 tonnes per day. Recent crushing throughput rates are operating at design capacity.
- A total of 932,523 tonnes at 1.79g/t gold were crushed during the quarter (Q4: 1,085,261 tonnes crushed).
- Run-of-mine ore placed directly on the heap-leach pad totalled 844,036 tonnes at 1.58g/t gold (Q4: 854,618 tonnes).
- Çöpler's gold recoveries are estimates based on the modeled ultimate recovery of ore placed on the heap-leach pads (rather than actual recovery for the period). The estimated Q1 gold recovery of 57.9% reflects:
- the impact of the crusher fire leading to an increased proportion of run-of-mine ore and the screen absence resulting in coarser crushed ore; and
- the ore types being mined in the Marble Pit and at deeper levels in the Manganese Pit.
- An updated Çöpler Mineral Resource estimate was released during the quarter with increased Measured and Indicated Resources totalling 7.3 million ounces (100% basis) as well as increased gold grades for oxide and sulfide mineralization.
Higginsville Gold Operations (100% owned)
|Higginsville Gold Operations||Q1 2011||Q2 2011||Q3 2011||Q4 2011||Q1 2012|
- Higginsville gold production totalled 33,239 ounces of gold for the quarter (Q4: 34,263 ounces).
- Ore throughput of 332,299 tonnes for the quarter was similar to the previous quarter (Q4: 349,927 tonnes). However, gold production was impacted near the end of the quarter by a bearing failure in the primary crusher, which required a 4.5-day change-out, and reduced the throughput of high-grade Trident ore.
- The head grade of 3.23g/t gold for the quarter (Q4: 3.13g/t) was less than planned due to processing low-grade stockpiles during the primary crusher change-out period and lower than planned grades from Athena Lode ore.
- Ore mined from Trident and Vine Pit totalled 297,419 tonnes, the highest quarterly ore production since commencement of the Higginsville Gold Operations.
- Surface stockpiles at the end of March 2012, included Trident high-grade ore totalling 17,000 tonnes at 3.3g/t gold and Vine Pit ore totalling 16,000 tonnes at 0.9g/t gold.
- Ore delivered from the Trident underground mine increased by 6% to 250,066 tonnes (Q4: 236,971 tonnes) and with an average grade of 4.2g/t gold for the quarter (Q4: 4.1g/t). This is the highest productivity achieved since the early days of mining Trident.
- The Trident decline reached the 708RL at the end of the quarter.
- Testing of the gap in drilling between the Helios and Artemis Lodes has commenced from the 744RL underground drill platform as well as infill drilling of these deeper lodes in preparation for 2013 mine planning.
- Development of the Chalice underground mine focussed on the declines, drill platform development and surface infra-structure construction. Chalice is scheduled to deliver 110,000 tonnes of ore to the plant during H2 2012. Mining of development ore from the Atlas Lode is planned to commence in Q3 2012 and stoping ore in Q4 2012. The Atlas decline is approximately 95m away from the orebody.
- Infill drilling of the Atlas Lode was successfully completed, with extensional drilling currently focussed on the previously sparsely drilled area between Atlas and the deeper Olympus Lode.
- Mining of the Vine Pit is planned to continue during Q2 2012 and then open-pit ore is planned to be sourced from the Fairplay Pit during H2 2012.
- An updated Higginsville Mineral Reserve estimate was released during the quarter with Proven and Probable Reserves increasing by 23% to 875,000 ounces (100% basis).
South Kalgoorlie Operations (100% owned except for 49% interest in Frog's Legs Mine)
|SKO (including Frog's Legs)||Q1 2011||Q2 2011||Q3 2011||Q4 2011||Q1 2012|
- Gold production from the South Kalgoorlie Operations (including Frog's Leg ore) increased to 22,397 ounces for the quarter (Q4: 21,798 ounces).
- Gold production from processing Frog's Leg underground ore increased to 13,590 ounces (Q4: 13,014 ounces) and from processing South Kalgoorlie open-pit ore increased to 8,807 ounces (Q4: 8,784 ounces).
- Ore throughput at 325,626 tonnes for the quarter was 5% higher compared to the previous quarter (Q4: 309,654 tonnes). The increase in throughput resulted from optimising the mill blend from multiple new ore sources.
- The Jubilee plant head grade was 2.34g/t gold for the quarter (Q4: 2.38g/t).
- Alacer's 49% share of ore from the Frog's Leg Mine contributed a total of 73,800 tonnes (Q4: 94,657 tonnes) at an average grade of 5.8g/t gold (Q4: 5.3g/t). The 22% reduction in ore production resulted from various operational issues.
- Ore production from the Triumph and Pernatty Pits contributed a total of 144,339 tonnes at 1.2g/t gold during the quarter and these pits will continue to provide ore for the remainder of 2012.
- Processing of stockpiled ore totalled 144,874 tonnes at 1.2g/t gold during the quarter.
- Following ongoing reserve evaluation work relating to the SKO Expansion Project, a decision has been made to suspend mining of the HBJ Stage 3 Pit in order to align planned ore production with an optimized mine plan and processing capacity.
- An updated Frog's Leg Mineral Reserve estimate was released during the quarter with Proven and Probable Reserves increasing by 36% to 385,000 ounces (Alacer's 49% share) at a grade of 5.8g/t gold.
First Quarter 2012 Production Statistics
|Çöpler||Higginsville||Frog's Leg (49%)||Other||South Kalgoorlie Operations Total||Alacer Gold Total|
|U/G ore mined (HG)||(tonnes)||-||250,066||73,800||-||73,800||323,866|
|U/G mined grade||(g/t)||-||4.15||5.76||-||5.76||4.52|
|U/G mined ounces||(ounces)||-||33,392||13,661||-||13,661||47,053|
|O/P ore mined (HG)||(tonnes)||1,753,216||4,248||-||144,339||144,339||1,901,803|
|O/P waste mined||(tonnes)||3,048,726||577,276||-||2,897,633||2,897,633||6,523,585|
|O/P mined grade||(g/t)||1.55||1.84||-||1.20||1.20||1.52|
|O/P ounces mined||(ounces)||87,396||251||-||5,551||5,551||93,198|
|Total HG tonnes mined||(tonnes)||1,753,216||254,314||73,800||144,339||218,139||2,225,669|
|Total mined grade||(g/t)||1.55||4.11||5.76||1.20||2.74||1.96|
|Total HG mined ounces||(ounces)||87,396||33,643||13,661||5,551||19,212||140,251|
|Attributable gold produced3||(oz)||35,651||33,329||13,590||8,807||22,397||91,377|
|Attributable gold sold||(oz)||39,910||33,752||14,613||9,582||24,195||97,857|
|1||For Çöpler, recovery rate is indicative of the modeled recovery of material placed during the current quarter.|
|2||Ounces produced is gold poured and includes net change of gold?in?circuit, except Çöpler which is ounces poured.|
|3||Attributable gold reflects Alacer Gold's 80% ownership of Çöpler.|
In this announcement:
- All production statistics are on a 100% basis except where otherwise noted.
- All $'s are US$'s except where otherwise noted.
- All ounces are troy ounces of gold.
- Q1 2011 production statistics include the period prior to merger completion on February 18, 2011.
- The gold ounces reported as produced for Çöpler are based on the ounces poured. This reported production differs to the ounces mined due to the time period gold is in the processing circuit, the use of estimated recovery rates for ore yet to be processed, and assay adjustments.
Financial Results and Conference Call
First quarter 2012 financial statements and management's discussion and analysis are planned to be released on Tuesday, May 15 (North America) and May 16 (Australia). Conference call details will be advised in due course.
Mineral Resources and Reserves
|Gold Mineral Resources as at December 31, 2011 (Attributable to Alacer)|
|Measured||Indicated||Total Measured & Indicated Resource||Inferred|
|Asset||Deposit||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)|
|Other Open Pit & UG||-||-||-||5.2||2.1||0.35||5.2||2.1||0.35||1.2||1.7||0.07|
|Frog's Leg (49%)||1.0||7.3||0.24||1.2||6.3||0.24||2.2||6.7||0.48||0.1||5.2||0.02|
In addition to the gold resources detailed above:
- Karakartal Mineral Resources also include 6.9 million tonnes at 0.29% copper in the indicated category and 8.9 million tonnes at 0.22% copper in the Inferred Resources category.
- Cevizlidere Mineral Resources also include 222.9 million tonnes at 0.38% copper and 48ppm molybdenum in the Inferred Resources category.
|Gold Mineral Reserves as at December 31, 2011 (Attributable to Alacer)|
|Asset||Deposit||Proven||Probable||Total Mineral Reserve|
|Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)||Tonnes (millions)||Gold Grade (g/t)||Contained Ounces (millions)|
|Frog's Leg (49%)||Total||0.9||6.0||0.18||1.2||5.6||0.21||2.1||5.8||0.39|
Mineral Resources and Reserves for have been calculated based on the following cut-off grades and metal prices:
|Asset||Deposit||Resource Cut-off Grade||Reserve Gold Price Basis||Reserve Au Cut-off Grade|
|Karakartal||0.24% Cu Eq||NA||NA|
|Higginsville||Trident Underground||1.0/2.0g/t Au||$1,350/oz||Various|
|Chalice Underground||2.0/3.0g/t Au||$1,350/oz||Various|
|Other Open Pit & Underground||0.5/0.8g/t Au||$1,350/oz||Various|
|Vine Open Pit||0.5/0.8g/t Au||$1,700/oz|
|SKO||HBJ||A$1,250 to||0.49g/t Au|
|Mt Martin||$1,350/oz||0.44g/t Au|
|Pernatty||0.5 to 1.0g/t Au||$1,400/oz||0.60g/t Au|
|Penfolds||0.7 to 1.0g/t Au||NA||NA|
|Frog's Legs||2.7g/t Au||$1,350/oz||Various|
Notes applicable to the Mineral Resources and Reserves:
- Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
- Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
- Mineral Resources and Reserves have been estimated and reported in accordance with the standards of Canadian National Instrument 43-101("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
- The selected gold price used to generate Mineral Reserves acknowledges the timing of extraction of the deposits, with higher prices used for deposits where extraction is to be completed in the shorter term.
The preparation of Alacer's Mineral Resources and Reserves has been done under the supervision of Qualified Persons as defined under NI 43-101. These Qualified Persons are detailed Alacer's Annual Information Form filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities on March 30, 2012 except for:
- Karakartal Mineral Resources are sourced from NI 43-101 Technical Report titled "Preliminary Estimate of Mineral Resources Karakartal Project, East Central Turkey", dated July 31, 2009; and
- Cevizlidere Mineral Resources are sourced from NI 43-101 Technical Report titled "The Cevizlidere Porphyry Deposit, Tunceli Province, Turkey", dated October 2, 2009.
The disclosure in this report has been compiled and approved by the following employees of Alacer:
- Mr. Chris Newman, BSc (Hons), MAusIMM, MAIG, Executive Vice President, Exploration, in regards to exploration results and Mineral Resources;
- Mr. Paul Thompson, BSc(Hons), MSc, FAusIMM, Vice President, Technical Services, in regards to Mineral Reserves except for Çöpler Oxide and Sulfide; and
- Mr Sam Shoemaker, B.Sc, MAusIMM, Registered Member SME, in regards to Mineral Reserves for Çöpler, excluding stockpiles.
Mr. Newman, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Shoemaker have sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which is being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves" and a Qualified Person pursuant to NI 43-101. They consent to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on this information in the form and context in which it appears.
Alacer Gold Corp is a leading intermediate gold mining company with interests in multiple mines which provide ore to three processing facilities in Australia and Turkey:
- 80% interest in the Çöpler Gold Mine;
- 100% interest in the Higginsville Gold Operations;
- 100% interest in the South Kalgoorlie Gold Operations ("SKO"); and
- 49% interest in the Frog's Leg Gold Mine.
Alacer's operations produced a total of 421,204 ounces of gold during 2011.
Alacer is pursuing a rapid growth strategy. The primary focus is organic growth from current operations and the Company's extensive gold and copper exploration properties in Australia and Turkey.
Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, or financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to this news release and other matters identified in Alacer's public filings, Alacer's future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "forecast", "projects", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts and include, but are not limited in any manner to, those with respect to proposed exploration, communications with local stakeholders and community relations, status of negotiations of joint ventures, commodity prices, mineral resources, mineral reserves, realization of mineral reserves, existence or realization of mineral resource estimates, the timing and amount of future production, timing of studies and analysis, the timing of construction of proposed mine and process facilities, capital and operating expenditures, economic conditions, availability of sufficient financing, exploration plans and any and all other timing, exploration, development, operational, production, financial, economic, legal, social, regulatory and, political factors that may influence, or be influenced by, future events or conditions. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any manner, those disclosed in any other Alacer filings, and include exploration results and the ability to explore, the ultimate determination of mineral reserves, availability and final receipt of required approvals, titles, licenses and permits, sufficient working capital to develop and operate the mines, access to adequate services and supplies, commodity prices, ability to meet production targets, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, access to capital markets and associated cost of funds, availability of a qualified work force, ability to negotiate, finalize and execute relevant agreements, lack of social opposition to the mines, lack of legal challenges with respect to any property or the Company and the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell mineral products on economically favorable terms. While we consider these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to us, they may prove to be incorrect. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties disclosed in other Alacer filings at www.sedar.com and other unforeseen events or circumstances. Other than as required by law, Alacer does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information to reflect, among other things, new information or future events.
SOURCE ALACER GOLD CORP.
For further information: <p> Edward Dowling or Lisa Maestas - North America at +1-303-292-1299<br/> Roger Howe - Australia at +61-405-419-139 </p>