YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Co-founder of the Ararat Gold Recovery Company (AGRC) "First Dynasty Mines–LTD." believes that it has made the right choice when launching its activities in Armenia–representative of FDM–Director General of the Armenian-Canadian Ararat Gold Recovery Company J.V. John Lewins told NT. According to him–the joint venture has been a success and FDM will work in Armenia for may years.
Yet so far FDM has implemented only a project on construction and operation of a plant for processing tailings which have accumulated during 20 year-long operation of the Ararat or dressing plant and now total around 12 million tins. Since last March when the enterprise started operations 600 kg of gold have been produced–of which over 300 kg have been produced this year. This allows the enterprise to cover its expenses. By the end of the year the management of the enterprise is planning to produce a little less than one ton of gold–bringing monthly gold output to 70 kg. Average salary at the enterprise totals $250.
FDM says that the profitability level of the enterprise is normal as the tailings processing project was drawn up two and a half years ago when the cost of 1 ounce of gold (approx. 31 grams) totaled $350. Currently on the Royal Exchange 1 ounce of gold costs $290($9 per gram)–while direct gold production expenses total $222 on average.
To reduce the prime cost the enterprise processes by 10 percent more tailings than it projected (currently it processes up to 5.5 thousands tons of ore daily and extracts 0.5 grams of gold per ton). As a result the enterprise produces by 15 percent more gold that it projected. This is why the projected duration of tailings processing reduced from 8 to 6 years.
According to John Lewins–the development of the Sotk deposit is supposed to begin by the end of the year. Annual gold output there is expected to total 4-5 tons. In 10 years–with development of the Meghradzor deposit–gold output is expected to total 5.5-6 tons. Lewins does not rule out that the planned geological surveys will be a success.