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SOFIA (Bulgaria), March 14 (SeeNews) - Canada's Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) said on Thursday that it has achieved first gold concentrate production from its Krumovgrad open pit gold mine in Bulgaria.
"With commercial production expected in the second quarter of this year, this is the beginning of a new chapter for DPM, which will deliver significant growth in gold production and free cash flow," Rick Howes, president and CEO of DPM, said in a statement.
DPM processed 650 tonnes of ore owing cold commissioning of the processing plant facilities, 650 tonnes of ore was processed through the crushing, grinding and rougher flotation circuits at a rate of approximately 100 tonnes per hour, producing the first concentrate from the deposit.
Next, the company will focus on beginning the ramp-up and optimization of the processing plant to achieve the design throughput of 105 tonnes per hour and the design gold recovery of 85%.
Gold contained in concentrate at Krumovgrad is expected to be between 55,000 and 75,000 ounces in 2019. The mine is expected to produce on average 100,000 ounces of gold contained in concentrate per year for the first five years of production, and an average of 85,000 ounces per year throughout its lifespan.
At the end of February, when 97% of the mine's construction was completed, the capital cost totalled $147 million (130 million euro). The total forecast capital cost is $164-166 million, down from the original estimate of $178 million.
DPM received the main construction permit for the project in August 2016 and commenced earthworks later that year.
DPM also operates the Chelopech gold and copper mine in central Bulgaria.
($ = 0.8848 euro)