New gold processing plant to run at full capacity this summer in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 21 December 2012 19:25 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21st / Trend, A. Akhundov /

The gold vat leaching plant, which is being built in Azerbaijan by Anglo-Asian Mining plc, will run at full capacity in June and July of 2013. This was told to Trend by the CEO of the company, Reza Vaziri.

The commissioning of the plant located on the Gadabay gold and copper deposit (420 km from Baku), is scheduled for March 2013. Plant construction has already been launched.

The plant will process rich ore and reserves that are not suitable for heap leaching, the method of ore based gold extraction that is currently being used. Vat leaching technology allows the extraction of more than 90% of the gold in the ore, whereas during heap leaching, the figure drops to about 70%. According to preliminary estimates, the extraction of gold from oxide ores is expected to be at 85% and at 69% from sulfide ores. In addition, the company continues to conduct tests on how to improve these indicators. The new plant is designed to process 100 tons of ore per hour.

"Firstly, the commissioning of the plant will increase our production capacity. Secondly, it will significantly reduce the company's operating expenses and reduce the use of substances that are necessary for heap leaching. Given favorable weather conditions, we will continue to use heap leaching for several more months. However, difficulties arise in the winter: the severe climate of Gadabay creates difficulties that lead to the reduction of efficiency. Following the launch of the new plant, we will be rid of all of these problems, " Vaziri said.

He said the company plans to produce 49,000-51,000 ounces in the field in 2012. It is planned that the launch of the vat leaching plant in 2013 will lead to a production increase of up to 67,000-70,000 ounces.

"In the second half of 2013, we plan to begin production in the Gosha field. If the results of our work are successful and exceed our forecasts, we will be able to increase production capacity at the plant by purchasing new plants, "Vaziri said.

He said the factory is designed for the ore volumes extracted from its own fields and the company is not planning to process ore from other companies.

"The plant will create 150-200 new jobs. Some 90% of the future staff is currently being trained.

Some 475 people are working in Gadabay now; most of them are locals. This is our policy, we engage workers from Gadabay and nearby settlements, hold training sessions for them and then employ them" Vaziri said.

The first gold and silver were extracted in the Gedaby mine in May 2009.