VENEZUELA — Vancouver-headquartered Rusoro Mining is examining the possibilities to expand its Choco 10 gold project (95% owned) near the town of El Callao. Micon International prepared the scoping study that looked at how the current 5,000-t/d operation might be expanded four-fold. The most attractive proposition was deemed to be that the existing mill continue to operate at 5,000 t/d and a new facility be built with a capacity of 15,000 t/d.
The study also examined both owner-operated mine haulage fleets and contract mining operations. Either one would be appropriate for open pit mining at Choco 10 operation and for the planned ore production for the Villa Balazo-Karolina pit, the nearby Increible 6 concession and two other small deposits. The study concluded that contract mining is preferable to control costs.
Other highlights of the study included increasing production at Choco 10 to over 500,000 oz/yr over a 12-year mine life. Maximum production of 717,300 oz would be reached in the 10th year. The expansion would require a capital injection of US$208.5 million plus contingencies of US$30.8 million and sustaining capital of US$80.3 million. Life-of-mine cash costs will be US$331 per ounce.
More information about Choco 10 is posted at www.Rusoro.com.