SURINAME Montreal-based CAMBIOR INC. posted net earnings of US$7.3 million in the first quarter of 2004, turning around a loss of US$2.3 million in same quarter 2003, thanks to bringing its US$95-million Rosebel gold mine into production.
The start-up of Rosebel on Feb. 11 this year offset planned reductions at Omai in Guyana and the temporary shutdown of Mouska in Quebec, the company said.
Open pit Rosebel has produced 27,300 oz of gold so far at a mine operating cost of US$163/oz, the lowest cost of any Cambior mine. This year, the mine is forecast to produce 245,000 oz of gold at US$184/oz. Those results are based on mining 4.6 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.8 g/t Au and a recovery rate of 93%.
A 34,000-metre drilling program, budgeted at US$4 million for 2004, has begun at Rosebel, aimed at increasing reserves in known deposits and identifying new areas of mineralization.
The recognition of a tax benefit of US$4 million for losses incurred during the exploration phase of Rosebel also favourably impacted the company’s first quarter profits, it said in a statement. Complete first quarter financial statements are posted at www.cambior.com.