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.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”