Chaarat Gold Holdings Limited (LON:CGH) has said it is “on track” to deliver its full-year production guidance for its Kapan gold mine in Armenia, noting that the run of mine grades at the project have improved over the last two months.
In a post-period statement accompanying its results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, the company said Kapan is still expected to deliver 55,000 gold equivalent ounces in the year, while grades at the mine improved in July and August and are now expected to be above levels seen in the first half for the rest of the year.
Chaarat said these improved grades were the result of targeted development work carried out in the year to date which focused on “identifying higher grade ore blocks that require minimal development”.
The firm noted that higher commodity prices, postponed shipments of June 2020 concentrates and improving operational factors led to a US$4.2mln underlying earnings (EBITDA) contribution from Kapan in July, more than doubling EBITDA from the mine in the year to date.
Looking to the figures for the first half, Chaarat reported gold equivalent production across the group for the period of 26,960 ounces, 9% lower year-on-year, as grades were impacted by mining in lower grade areas. Revenue in the first half was US$29.9mln compared to US$31mln in 2019, although its operating loss narrowed to US$5.1mln from US$7.5mln.
Meanwhile, the company said first gold pour at the firm’s Tulkubash project in Kyrgyzstan has been moved to the fourth quarter of 2022 from the end of 2021 due to people and equipment restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The firm has also completed a preliminary metallurgical assessment at its Kyzyltash project, also in Kyrgyzstan, in April.
"We continue to make progress towards achieving our goal of becoming a leading emerging markets gold company with a focus on Central Asia and the Former Soviet Union. Kapan had a better first half compared to last year, despite June shipment delays, as a result of the optimisation initiatives we have implemented since we acquired this operation”, Chaarat chief executive Artem Volynets said in a statement.
“The rapidly implemented programmes to support our communities during the challenging times created by the [coronavirus] pandemic have led to no cases being recorded onsite in [the first half of 2020] and a continuous excellent safety record and recognition by our employees and the communities. The cases in July 2020 at the Tulkubash construction site were handled very efficiently with the individuals affected fully recovering within weeks”, the CEO added.
Chaarat Gold said Volynets and Chris Eger, its chief financial officer, will provide a live presentation relating to its interim results via the Investor Meet Company platform on Friday at 9.00am BST.
Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and meet Chaarat, via: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/chaarat-gold-holdings-ltd/register-investor