FAR EASTERN RUSSIA – The Russian government has issued the construction permits for the Kupol gold mine, a move that allows Vancouver-based BEMA GOLD CORP. to continue work. Bema can now begin drawing down the US$400 project loan, which it intends to begin later this month (April 2006).
The mobilization of equipment and supplies at the Kupol site is well underway. This year’s construction budget is US$140 million. The program will include erecting the mill building and permanent 600-person camp, and completing the runway for fixed wing aircraft. In addition, open pit mining and underground development work will begin in 2006. The mine is scheduled to commence production in mid-2008.
The 2005 feasibility study (for details please refer to the press release of June 3, 2005, at www.Bema.com) budgets average annual production of more than 550,000 oz of gold and 5.8 million oz silver, over an initial 6.5-year mine life. Using silver as an operating credit, at a spot silver price of US$6.00/oz, the operating cash costs are projected at US$47/oz of gold and the total cash costs are projected at US$88/oz of gold.