THE plan to expand the Kainantu gold mine in Eastern Highlands is based on the aim to double capacity and production, according to operator K92 Mining Ltd.
Chief executive John Lewins, in a recent report, said during the first quarter, the company announced commencement of the expansion of the mine with a goal of doubling capacity to 400,000 tonnes per annum and increasing annual production to an average of 120,000 ounces of gold equivalent (AuEq oz).
Based on the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) published last January, major results from the decision to expand production include:
- Total capital expenditure for last year was projected to be US$30 million (K102.2mil), comprising US$12 million (K40.8mil) in expansion capital, US$8 million (K27.2mil) in sustaining capital and US$10 million (K40.1million) in capital development;
- Production was projected to be 68-75,000 oz AuEq last year and was projected to be 115-125,000 oz AuEq this year; and,
- Number of employees was expected to increase from the current 650 to 750 at the end of last year, and to 800 by the end of this year.