Stratex International has announced first gold pour at its Altintepe gold mine, which is located close to the Black Sea coast of northern Turkey.

Joint venture partner Bahar Madencilik has recently funded all pre-production costs, including $39m towards construction at the mine.

Stratex said that the company’s initial investment in its 45%-owned Altintepe stands at $1.5m.

Stratex International chief executive Bob Foster said: "This is a major milestone for Stratex as we move into the realms of being a gold producer.

"We believe this partnership approach to mine development and delivering cash flow is an excellent strategic model and especially so during these difficult times faced by the mining sector."

"This is a major milestone for Stratex as we move into the realms of being a gold producer."

The company completed construction of the mine in October.

During the initial stage of operation, the primary focus would be on exploitation of the Camlik East zone, which is expected to deliver a minimum of 30,000oz gold a year over 34 months for a total recovered gold of 110,000oz.

Bahar will recover their pre-production costs from 80% of the net-free cash flow.

Accordingly, 55% of the net proceeds will be distributed to Bahar and 45% to Stratex.

Bahar will provide contract mining services, and Altintepe Madencilik is expected to provide services, including mine planning, grade control, processing, and sale of the doré to a Turkey refinery.

According to Stratex, full production at the mine is expected to be achieved in a few months.

Meanwhile, the company plans to complete further technical and economic assessment on the Extension Ridge and Camlik zones.

The Altintepe epithermal gold deposit has an in-house resource of 593,131oz in gold and 3,184,508oz in silver.

Image: First gold pour from Altintepe gold mine in Turkey. Photo: courtesy of Stratex International.