Bad weather hits Alacer Gold Q1 output, but 2012 outlook rises
While Alacer reports lacklustre production in the fourth quarter due to poor weather conditions in Turkey, it increases overall guidance for the year.
Posted: Friday , 20 Apr 2012
HALIFAX, NS (MINEWEB) -
There was good and bad news in Alacer Gold's (TSX: ASR, ASX: AQG) latest production update on its gold mining operations in Turkey and Australia.
First the bad. Alacer's gold production was down a substantial 12 percent over the previous quarter as "challenging" weather affected mining and milling at its Çöpler gold mine in Turkey.
"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," stated Alacer in a Friday press release.
Çöpler's quarterly production fell to 44,564 ounces gold from 57,800 ounces gold in the fourth quarter 2011.
The drop in performance was obvious in gold recovery rates: 57.9 percent in Q1 this year versus 65 percent in Q4 last year. There was little that Alacer could do to mitigate the falling recoveries - unless it could have controlled the weather - as colder temperatures were to blame for the lower performance on Alacer's Çöpler leach pads.
But, despite the first quarter disappointment, there was good news for Alacer on the production front for the whole year thanks to a new Çöpler mine plan. Alacer revised the plan and said it eked out around 10,000 to 15,000 ounces more gold production in 2012.
Now Alacer guides for between 195,000 and 200,000 ounces gold this year at Çöpler, as opposed to the previous 180,000- to 190,000-ounce outlook. In terms of gold ounces coming Alacer's way from all its mines, it said it would net about 10,000 ounces more this year, bringing home between 396,000 to 410,000 ounces gold overall.
Alacer's producing assets are an 80-percent interest in the Çöpler gold mine, full ownership of the Higginsville and South Kalgoorlie gold mines in Australia and a 49-percent stake in the Frog's Leg gold mine, also in Australia.