The Oksut gold mine, located approximately 48km south of Kayseri in south-central Turkey, is being developed by Centerra Gold.

The feasibility study for the open-pit gold mine was completed in July 2015, which forecasted four million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of ore production over an estimated mine life of eight years. The estimated investment on the project is $221m, according to the feasibility study.

The project received all regulatory permits by January 2018 and the construction was started in March 2018.

The Oksut mine is expected to pour its first gold in the first quarter of 2020.

Oksut gold project development history

The exploration works for the Oksut gold project were initially undertaken by a joint venture of Centerra Gold (50%) and Stratex International (50%).

Centerra acquired an additional 20% stake in the project for $3m in October of 2012, followed by the acquisition of remaining 30% interest for $20m in January 2013.

Oksut project location and geology

Covering a permit area of 1,243ha, the Oksut gold project targets two high-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits, namely Keltepe and Guneytepe, in the Central Anatolian Volcanic Province, which forms part of the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt.

The gold mineralization in the project area is hosted within the Develidag Volcanic Complex, which comprises Miocene basaltic-andesitic volcanic domes, pyroclastic rocks, and lava flows.

The Keltepe deposit contains higher grade gold ore hosted within a central massive silica breccia. Gold mineralization at Keltepe is found up to 400m below surface, whereas that in the smaller Guneytepe deposit occurs within 75m below surface.

Oksut gold reserves

The Oksut gold mine is estimated to hold 28.2Mt of proven and probable ore reserves grading 1.3g/t Au and containing 1.2 million ounces (Moz) of gold.

Mining method and ore processing

Oksut will be a conventional truck and shovel open-pit mining operation. The mining activity will be carried out simultaneously at Keltepe and Guneytepe pits.

The Keltepe pit will be developed in three cut-backs, to facilitate smooth stripping and to target higher grade ore, whereas the Guneytepe pit will be developed in a single cut-back due to its small size.

The run-of-mine ore from both the pits will be trucked to the on-site processing plant, where it will undergo two-stage crushing, screening, and grinding before being conveyed to the heap leach pad for gold recovery. Diluted cyanide solution will be used as the heap leach solution.

The higher grade ores will be processed in the initial years of operation, while the lower grade ore will be stockpiled for processing at the end of the mine life.

Project infrastructure

The project site will be accessed through a new all-weather road from Epce. The mine site will be supplied with electricity from a substation located 28km away, near the town of Sendrimeke.

The primary water requirement for the project will be met through two wells located just south of the village of Epce.

Contractors involved

Dorce is the main construction contractor for the Oksut gold project. BTE Energy is responsible for the electricity supply infrastructure for the project.

Ciftay Construction was contracted for civil and earth works including the construction of site roads, waste dump, and drainage facilities.

ACD Construction was contracted for building the raw water supply facility for the Oksut gold mine.