Kinross puts cost of Tasiast mill refurb at $20m as mine returns to production

KINROSS Gold said the cost of restarting a mill hit by fire at its Tasiast mine in West Africa’s Mauritania in June would come it at $20m, well below the $35m budget.

As a result of the fire, Kinross reported third quarter gold production of 483,000 gold equivalent ounces compared with 603,312 oz in the third quarter of 2020.

The Canadian miner said in its third quarter update on Wednesday that the mill was now processing low grade stockpile as part of its ramp up process with December earmarked for a return to throughout levels of the first half of the year.

The mill would produce approximately 15,000 of gold equivalent ounces in the fourth quarter, the company said.

Kinross said it was on track to meet revised guidance of 2.1 million gold equivalent oz for the 2021 financial year down from 2.4 million oz previously forecast for the year. Group equivalent annual gold production was expected to increase to 2.7 and 2.9 million oz in the 2022 and 2023 financial years respectively.

Commenting on the expansion programme at Tasiast, Kinross said it was scheduled to process 21,000 tons a day by the end of the first quarter next year before increasing to 24,000 tons daily by mid-2023.

The first phase of the project was 96% complete and planning for commissioning was “well-advanced”, it said. “The first tests of the power plant have been successful, commissioning is progressing well, and the plant is on schedule to be operational by year-end,” Kinross said.

Chirano, a mine Kinross operates in Ghana, produced 37,588 oz in the third quarter, a slight quarter on quarter decline mainly due to timing of ounces processed through the mill and lower year-over-year primarily due to lower grades. This was partially offset by higher throughput at the mill.