Eldorado Gold: Operating Successfully in Emerging Jurisdictions
Eldorado Gold Corporation is a 750,000 ounce gold producer with mining, development and exploration operations in Turkey, China, Greece, Romania and Brazil. The Canadian-based company owns and operates seven mines and is developing six projects.
The Company’s success to date is based on a low cost strategy, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, safe and responsible operations, and long-term partnerships with the communities where they operate. It’s a disciplined approach that makes for a pragmatic culture; a culture that is honest, forthright and preservers to find solutions. It’s an approach that is shared across Eldorado Gold’s diverse global operations.
This ethos has seen Eldorado double production, increase its resources and reserves, and maintain cash operating costs in the lowest quartile of the global cost curve over the past five years. Eldorado’s pipeline of of high-quality, long-lived projects has the potential to make the Company a 1.5 million ounce gold producer. Eldorado Gold is now working to develop its assets, particularly those in Greece, that will become a major component to its capital growth.
Assets in place
Eldorado Gold’s success is exemplified by its two Turkish mining assets – the Kisladag and Efemcukuru gold mines. Although the country hasn’t traditionally been a top location for mining investment, Eldorado saw Turkey’s potential.
“We elected to go into jurisdictions that aren’t typically viewed as mainstream countries for gold mining,” says Eldorado Gold CEO Paul Wright. “Greece and Turkey have a long history, an ancient history, of gold mining and are very prospective. That’s our target.”
“Turkey has been incredibly successful for us,” says Wright. “It’s a very good country to operate in because you have a rule of law, strong work ethic, and a healthy degree of pragmatism. Plus, there’s a rich mining tradition.”
The company’s most successful gold mine to date is the Kisladag project in Turkey. As the first open-pit heap leach mine in Europe, the mine produces over 300,000 ounces of gold per year, and is the largest gold producing mine in the country.
“It’s been a very successful, predictable, low cost operation for us. It’s the cornerstone of the company,” says Wright.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.