PARAMARIBO, Suriname CAMBIOR, the Montreal-based miner, has plans to expand production at its Rosebel gold mine even though development is not yet complete.
Rosebel is to go into production in the first quarter of 2004 at a rate of 270,000 oz of gold in its first year at mine operating costs of USS157/oz. By the end of July 2003, US$55 million had been spent and US$12 million committed to the US$95-million project.
"Our intention is to prove additional reserves at Rosebel for an expansion in 2005," Cambior president Louis Gignac told analysts during a conference call.
The project will start up at a rate of 16,000 t/d of mainly soft rock, dropping to 12,000 t/d when 50% of the feed will be hard rock and 50% transition rock, said Gignac.
If justified by an increase in reserves, Cambior aims to increase throughput from 12,000 t/d to 16,000-18,000 t/d in 2005, he said. The expansion could be achieved by installing a second ball mill from the A circuit of the company’s Omai gold mine in neighbouring Guyana, due to close in 2005, Gignac added.
Cambior has already dismantled one SAG and one ball mill from Omai and shipped them to Rosebel where they are currently being installed by the same team that put them in at the Guyana mine in 1992. As a result, throughput fell at Omai to 12,000 t/d from 15,000 t/d during May and June this year while a secondary crusher was installed to replace the missing mills. The new crusher should result improve performance at Omai which is forecast to produce 145,000-150,000 oz gold at mine operating costs of about US$200/oz in the second half, said Gignac. In the first half, Omai’s output was 131,600 oz at US$235/oz.
Cambior closed an equity offering to raise Cdn$100 million (about US$72 million) and net proceeds of Cdn$94.5 million on Aug. 12, part of which will be used to develop Rosebel.
"It will help us to grow our asset base more quickly and prepare beyond Rosebel," said Gignac.
View photos of the Rosebel project at www.cambior.com.