TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - Alacer Gold Corp ("Alacer" or the "Corporation") (TSX: ASR) is pleased to announce commercial production has been achieved effective April 1, 2011 at its Çöpler Gold Mine in Turkey, after a review of the operational and financial performance of the mine.
Alacer began stacking run-of-mine ore at Çöpler during the fourth quarter 2010, with the first gold pour achieved on December 22, 2010. For the first quarter 2011, the mine stacked a total of 1,695,816 tonnes of run-of-mine ore on the leach pad at an average grade of 1.23 g/t containing 66,935 ounces. An average of 18,842 tonnes/day was stacked during the quarter with an average of 21,061 tonnes/day stacked in March 2011.
The gold recovery plant delivered 31,401 ounces of gold to carbon in the first quarter, including over 17,253 ounces in March 2011. Gold poured for the quarter was 33,602 ounces, before final refinery settlements. Gold sold from Çöpler in the first quarter 2011 was 31,450 ounces at an average price of $1,403 per ounce.
Edward Dowling, CEO of Alacer stated, "We are extremely pleased by the performance at Çöpler during its first full quarter of operations. Mining rates are stable and recoveries from the run-of-mine ore are encouraging with production in March exceeding average life-of-mine plans. The startup of the crushing circuit will occur during the second quarter. The mine should benefit from incrementally improved gold recovery levels and rates from crushed and agglomerated ores."
Alacer is a leading intermediate gold company with operations in both Australia and Turkey.
Alacer has three operating gold mines in Australia, namely the Higginsville and South Kalgoorlie operations; and a 49% interest in the Frog's Leg underground mine. The South Kalgoorlie operations and the Frog's Leg interest were acquired following the successful takeover of Dioro Exploration NL, which was completed in March 2010. In the financial year ended June 2010, production was 230,000 ounces of gold, of which 183,000 ounces were produced at Higginsville at A$503 per ounce (excluding royalties) with the balance produced at South Kalgoorlie which included the 49% interest in Frog's Leg. The Australian operations are targeting 280,000 ounces of gold in 2011.
Alacer is recognized as a leader in exploration and development in Turkey and, with the start-up of Çöpler, will soon be among Turkey's leading gold producers. Çöpler is 95% owned by Alacer and 5% by Lidya Mining (formerly known as Çalık Mining, see Anatolia News Release, August 13, 2009). Initial plans at Çöpler are to produce approximately 1.42 million leachable ounces of gold at costs consistent with the lower end of industry standards. Average annual production is expected to be about 175,000 gold ounces. Additional production expansion from the sulfide gold reserve is expected to add 2.25 million ounces. A detailed feasibility study is underway. In addition, Alacer holds a significant pipeline of prospective gold and base metal projects.
Alacer Gold currently has 276.4 million common shares issued and outstanding, 297.2 million fully diluted.
Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, or financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to this news release and other matters identified in Alacer's public filings, Alacer's future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "projects", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts and include, but are not limited in any manner to, those with respect to proposed exploration, communications with local stakeholders and community relations, status of negotiations of joint ventures, commodity prices, mineral resources, mineral reserves, realization of mineral reserves, existence or realization of mineral resource estimates, the timing and amount of future production, the timing of construction of proposed mine and process facilities, capital and operating expenditures, economic conditions, availability of sufficient financing, exploration plans and any and all other timing, exploration, development, operational, financial, economic, legal, social, regulatory, political factors that may influence future events or conditions. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any manner, those disclosed in any other Alacer filings, and include exploration results and the ability to explore, the ultimate determination of mineral reserves, availability and final receipt of required approvals, titles, licenses and permits, sufficient working capital to develop and operate the proposed mine, access to adequate services and supplies, commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, access to capital markets and associated cost of funds, availability of a qualified work force, ability to negotiate, finalize and execute relevant agreements, lack of social opposition to the mine, lack of legal challenges with respect to the property or the Company and the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell mineral products on economically favorable terms. While we consider these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to us, they may prove to be incorrect. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties disclosed in other Alacer filings at www.sedar.com and other unforeseen events or circumstances. Other than as required by law, Alacer does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information to reflect, among other things, new information or future events.