TORONTO, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - Anatolia Minerals Development Limited ("Anatolia" or the "Company") (TSX:ANO) announces activities at the Çopler Gold Project in eastern central Turkey are progressing on plan and accelerating since formally starting major construction work in late September 2009.
Edward Dowling, President and CEO of Anatolia stated, "Our construction crews were well prepared for the onset of construction in September. This allowed us to gain excellent momentum over the past several weeks and take advantage of moderate weather conditions. Construction will continue throughout the winter months, but will slow our work on the heap leach pad. The contingencies we've built into the construction schedule push our first pour into early fourth quarter 2010; however, our construction team is looking at several options to accelerate work next spring."
Major construction work started about six weeks ago following an opening ceremony attended by numerous local residents, and community and regional leaders. Civil, mining and other major contractors were on site and started work shortly thereafter. Additional contractors, equipment and personnel are mobilizing according to the project schedule. Construction activities have been sequenced to focus on critical path items, taking advantage of moderate weather conditions before the onset of winter. Activities to date include:
- Engineering, Procurement and Construction: Critical path items
include the primary crusher, heap leach pad and adsorption,
desorption and refining ("ADR") plant. Construction of the primary
crusher started in October 2009 with drilling and blasting for the
foundation. This work requires a vertical excavation of approximately
23 meters which should be completed by the end of the fourth quarter
2009. Forming and pouring the primary crusher foundation will follow
completion of excavation. Some grubbing and leveling of the heap
leach pad area occurred earlier this year, but this work accelerated
following the start of major construction. Excavation, fill and
compaction for Cell 1 of the heap leach pad are underway and will
continue as long as weather conditions permit. A winter delay is
contemplated in the project schedule with work resuming as conditions
improve (typically late first quarter). The ADR plant was fabricated
in the U.S. and is substantially complete. Delivery to site is
scheduled for first quarter 2010. Pre-assembly of portions of the ADR
plant will be done during winter months. Other construction advances
include: placement and pre-commissioning of the modular assay
laboratory; substantial completion of the explosives magazine;
provisioning of construction power and water; near completion of the
permanent power line; foundation work for the main mine substation,
employee and contract camp set-up; scheduled construction of the
concrete batch plant; and site earthworks, including topsoil
stripping and stockpiling, on-site access road construction, and
clearing for workshops and offices.
- Sustainability: Using a systematic approach, the Corporation, through
town-hall meetings and community engagement efforts, is reiterating
and demonstrating the Corporation's commitment to promote local
economic and social development in compliance with Turkish standards
and International Finance Corporation ("IFC") standards. Policies for
safety, health, environmental excellence and community engagement
have been developed as part of the Corporation's commitment. One
lost-time accident occurred during the third quarter 2009. The
Corporation continued to develop and implement formal action plans to
meet applicable performance standards. Substantially all action plans
have been prepared and are either deployed or at various stages of
final review. Much of the guidance outlined in these plans is already
in place, with the balance to be implemented as construction
- Local Contracting and Employment: Anatolia is committed to advancing
opportunities for local stakeholders. This includes contracting,
employment and training. Prior to starting construction, the
Corporation reached understandings with local stakeholders on many
economic development opportunities and continues to assess other
potential areas for local and regional participation.
- Resettlement: Residents of the Çopler Village will be resettled to a
nearby location agreed to by the Village Council according to an
approved Master Relocation Plan. Architectural and construction
plans, designs and zoning approvals are complete for the new village.
Bid packages were completed and issued in October soliciting
proposals from qualified contractors. Contracts for virtually all
surface rights and structures have been accepted. Negotiations for
the remaining rights are progressing. A number of title disputes
between third-party land owners in the area of the new village were
resolved. This clears the way for the Corporation to complete these
purchases. Discussions are continuing for a limited number of private
parcels in the existing village. The Corporation is prepared to
acquire these lands on terms consistent with those accepted by all
other villagers. However, expropriation is available under Turkish
law if needed. Discussions with village leaders are underway to
exchange existing common grounds for similar grounds in the new
village. Completing resettlement is not anticipated to affect the
project's critical path.
- Project Financing: Anatolia closed the $62.5 million senior project
debt (the "Debt Facility") with Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG,
a member of UniCredit Group ("HVB") on March 31, 2009 (see Anatolia
News Release, dated March 31, 2009). Activities relating to this Debt
Facility focused on advancing the conditions precedent to drawdown.
However, on November 4, 2009 the Corporation completed an offering of
common shares. Management estimates that proceeds from this offering
will be sufficient to complete Çopler without borrowing under the
Facility Agreement. The Company may elect to retain or establish some
form of debt facility as a potential additional capital resource.
Since starting major construction, excellent progress has been made and is proceeding according to plan. Despite these achievements, year-to-date overall construction progress was more limited than anticipated in management's original 2009 development plan. With the onset of colder weather, and the potential additional impacts on construction, the first gold pour is now likely to be in the fourth quarter of 2010. Management is evaluating various options to reduce the construction period.
Anatolia, recognized as a leader in exploration and development in Turkey, is developing Çopler. Çopler is 95% owned by Anatolia and 5% by Çalik Mining (see News Release, August 13, 2009). Initial plans are to produce approximately 1.3 million ounces of gold at a cash cost of about US$260 per ounce. The first gold pour at Çopler is expected in 2010 with full production of about 175,000 ounces of gold per year anticipated in 2011. Additional production expansion of the oxide and sulfide gold resource is expected at Çopler by taking advantage of the inherent large resource through on-going technical activities. In addition, Anatolia holds a significant pipeline of prospective gold and base metal projects.
Anatolia currently has 137.9 million common shares issued and outstanding, 156.5 million fully diluted. Anatolia's common shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ANO."
Except for statements of historical fact relating to Anatolia, certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information, future oriented financial information, or financial outlooks (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may relate to this news release and other matters identified in Anatolia's public filings, Anatolia's future outlook and anticipated events or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "projects", "predict", "potential", "targeted", "possible", "continue", "objective" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts and include, but are not limited in any manner to, those with respect to commodity prices, mineral resources, mineral reserves, realization of mineral reserves, existence or realization of mineral resource estimates, the timing and amount of future production, the timing of construction of the proposed mine and process facilities, capital and operating expenditures, the timing of receipt of permits, rights and authorizations, communications with local stakeholders and community relations, status of negotiations of joint ventures, availability of financing and any and all other timing, development, operational, financial, economic, legal, regulatory and political factors that may influence future events or conditions. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, but not limited in any manner, those disclosed in any other of Anatolia's public filings, and include the ultimate determination of mineral reserves, availability and final receipt of required approvals, licenses and permits, ability to acquire necessary surface rights, sufficient working capital to develop and operate the proposed mine, access to adequate services and supplies, economic conditions, commodity prices, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, access to capital and debt markets and associated cost of funds, availability of a qualified work force, lack of social opposition and legal challenges, and the ultimate ability to mine, process and sell mineral products on economically favorable terms. While Anatolia considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Actual results may vary from such forward-looking information for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties disclosed in other Anatolia filings at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are based upon management's beliefs, estimate and opinions on the date the statements are made and, other than as required by law, Anatolia does not intend, and undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information to reflect, among other things, new information or future events.
SOURCE Alacer Gold Corp.
For further information: For further information: Edward Dowling, President and CEO, or Douglas Tobler, CFO at (303) 292-1299 or visit www.anatoliaminerals.com