THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Central Asia Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kazakhstan gold producer, JSC AK Altynamas.
The MOU anticipates a toll treatment agreement for the processing of Central Asia’s ore from the company’s Altyntas, Kengir and Kepken deposits in Kazakhstan at Altynalmas’ nearby Akbakai plant.
Altyntas is the largest of the three Central Asia prospects with a defined resource of approximately 600,000 ounces of gold.
Kepken has a 411,000-ounce gold resource, with 264,000 ounces of Indicated Resources and 174,000 ounces of Inferred Resources while Kengir has a 127,000-ounce gold resource, with 56,000 ounces of Indicated resources and 69,000 ounces of Inferred resources, at a cut-off grade of 0.5 grams per tonne gold.
Central Asia had previously planned to develop Altyntas in two stages with a heap leach processing followed by construction of a carbon-in-leach plant that would be funded by production from the company’s Dalabai gold project, which commenced production in February this year.
The agreement with Altynamas will replace these plans and according to Central Asia will allow it rapid development of a mine at Altyntas without the need for complex planning and permitting of a processing facility.
Central Asia expects being able to achieve higher recoveries from Altynalmas’ plant, which will offset toll treatment and trucking costs for ore or concentrate.
Over the past 18 months, Altynalmas has upgraded operations at its Akbakai site, which is close to Central Asia’s Altyntas, Kengir and Kepken projects.
This upgrade involved construction and improvement of infrastructure and processing facilities to international standards, as well as an introduction of a mechanised mining method to its underground mining operations.
“We are fortunate to have found such good partners in JSC AK Altynalmas and its team,” Central Asia Resources chairman Guy Warwick said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“It is not just the availability of a world-class facility at Akbakai only 30 kilometres from our biggest deposit at Altyntas, but equally important is co-operation with the team whose business network and understanding of the local development processes will greatly accelerate bringing Altyntas into production.”