Eldorado Gold is set to resume mining and heap leaching at its Kisladag gold mine in Turkey and suspend the previously announced $500m mill project at the site.

The decision was taken following the analysis of results from a test pad that showed what CEO George Burns called ‘favourable economics’ for heap leaching.

The company is expected to restart mining at the gold mine by the end of the first quarter this year.

Burns said: “The decision to restart mining and heap leaching at Kisladag is supported by improved heap leach recoveries and confirmed by a revised heap leaching plan developed in early 2019.

“The revised heap leaching plan results in favourable economics when compared to milling, without the risks associated with the construction and financing of a $500m project.”

In the first quarter of last year, the company suspended mining at the Kisladag gold mine after a laboratory test work at the site indicated lower recoveries from the zone of mineralisation.

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By GlobalData

Later in October, Eldorado Gold elected to advance with the mill project.

However, subsequent gold recoveries from the leach pad increased significantly impelling the company to carry out test work and assess the feasibility to resume mining at Kisladag.

“The revised heap leaching plan results in favourable economics when compared to milling, without the risks associated.”

Eldorado finally decided to recommence operations at the mine due to improved economics of heap leaching compared to the mill project and lower construction risks.

Additionally, flexibility to consider debt retirement, reduced financing risks and potential for higher heap leach recoveries have driven the company to revise its decision.

This year, it expects to achieve a consolidated production of 390,000-420,000 ounces of gold from Kisladag, Lamaque, Efemcukuru, and Olympias sites. The total consolidated production is expected to increase to between 520,000 ounces and 550,000 ounces of gold next year.