Gold producer suspends gold bar production due to mercury buildup

Centerra Gold today reported that it has temporarily suspended gold doré bar production at the Öksüt mine in Turkey due to mercury having been detected in the gold room of the adsorption-desorption recovery (“ADR”) plant.

Centerra said it has taken several initial actions in response, including cleaning mercury from affected areas, taking steps to mitigate and prevent exposure, implementing the necessary safety protocols and protective equipment and is in the process of taking the necessary regulatory reporting steps.

The company added it is also evaluating several potential technical solutions to remove the mercury in the gold recovery process, including a retort and scrubbing system in the ADR plant, prior to the restart of production.

Despite the temporary suspension, the Öksüt mine continues to mine ore, stack ore on the leach pad, and process ore within the ADR plant into a gold-in-carbon form, the company said.

“The gold-in-carbon will be stockpiled until the re-start of the electrowinning process, where the recovery of gold from concentrated solution occurs,” Centerra noted in a statement.

The company pointed out it is evaluating the impact on 2022 guidance, noting that through March 17 the Öksüt mine produced and sold over 54,000 gold ounces.

Centerra Gold is a Canadian-based gold mining company focused on operating, developing, exploring and acquiring gold properties in North America, Turkey, and other markets worldwide.

Centerra operates two mines: the Mount Milligan mine in British Columbia, Canada, and the Öksüt mine in Turkey. While the Company still owns the Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic, it is currently no longer under the Company’s control.

The company also owns the Goldfield District Project in Nevada, United States, the Kemess Underground project in British Columbia, Canada, and owns and operates the Molybdenum Business Unit in the United States.

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