Canadian mining and exploration firm Centerra Gold has achieved its first gold pour from its Öksüt Mine in Turkey.

The company was able to achieve the milestone on schedule and ahead of budget.

The Öksüt gold mine is located approximately 48km south of Kayseri in south-central Turkey and fully owned by Centerra. It is 295km to the south-east of Ankara.

It is planned as a conventional truck and shovel open-pit mining operation.

A total of approximately 1.2 million ounces (Moz) of gold is scheduled to be mined from two open pits, namely the Keltepe pit and the smaller Güneytepe pit.

The mine has an initial life of eight years.

Centerra Gold president and CEO Scott Perry said: “Reaching the first gold pour is a testament to the dedication and hard work that our Öksüt team has put in to reach this goal safely.

“This milestone would not have been achieved without the initial conviction and perseverance from the Centerra exploration team given that the Öksüt Mine originally started as a greenfield exploration venture in 2009.”

The project received all regulatory permits in January 2018 while construction was started in March 2018.

Centerra already operates two flagship assets, namely the Kumtor Mine in the Kyrgyz Republic and the Mount Milligan mine in British Columbia, Canada. Öksüt is the company’s third operating asset.

Last month, Centerra received all the necessary permits and approvals to restart open-pit mining at the Kumtor mine.