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Lydian International forging ahead to realise Armenia's largest gold mine

The group is aiming for first gold production in mid-2018....
Lydian International forging ahead to realise Armenia's largest gold mine
Lydian's project is set to be a game-changer for Armenia

Lydian International Inc (TSE:LYD) is well underway in the construction phase of its giant Amulsar mine, which will be Armenia's largest gold mine.

As of the end of May this year, its committed spend had totalled $213mln, which was 58% of the initial capital.

Now it has a first advance from its loan with Orion and Resource Capital Fund of $25mln with a second $25mln due by August 15 this year.

The group is aiming for first gold production in mid-2018.

The cost of the project was estimated at US$369.9 million, so is well on its way

What is Amulsar...?

Amulsar was discovered by Lydian a decade ago on a geology road trip and lies 170km south of Armenia's capital Yerevan on the border between the provinces of Vayots Dzor and Sunnik.

The Amulsar licenses cover an area of 65 sq km.

Local infrastructure is good. There is a paved highway some  4km to the south of the project available to the town of Jermuk and high tension power lines pass along the main road and electricity is charged at $0.06/kWh

Water is available from the Vorotan River and the Spandaryan reservoir, 3km east and 8km south east respectively.

Putting the pieces together....

Access roads are now complete, while work is also complete  on the adsorption desorption refining (ADR) plant platform, the construction warehouse platform, and the heap leach facility (HLF) temporary sediment dam.

Machinery giant Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) has been ahead of schedule in producing the primary mine mobile equipment, and initial deliveries are expected to begin in late July.

The mining fleet for Amulsar will include 19 Caterpillar 789D 180-tonne-capacity haul trucks, one 994 front-end loader and two  6040 hydraulic shovels. A training simulator has been purchased to train operators.

Still to come this year is  delivery to site and assembly of the mine mobile fleet and the hiring and training of staff for mine operations and the processing plant

Set to become Armenia's largest gold mine..

In February this year, the group's mineral resource and reserve was upgraded, with a 16% lift to the higher confidence measured and indicated category.

This was lifted by 19.8 million tonnes to 142.2 million tonnes - a 16% increase while notably the same gold grade was maintained.

The mineral reserve estimate was lifted by 184,000 contained gold ounces to 2.606mln contained gold ounces, which was an increase of 8%.

Lydian has said it expects mining production will reach 25mln tonnes of material during the first year of the operation.

Gold output,  beginning in 2018, is targeted to average greater than 200,000 ounces per year over an initial 10 year mine life.

Amulsar is a large scale, low cost, technically simple open pit project, where the all-in-sustaining-costs are US$585 an ounce and the recovery on the leach pad is put at 87%.

Experienced mine builder as COO..

In May, the company hired seasoned executive Andrew Kaczmarek as chief operating officer

He has spent his career building and operating mines in ten countries, the firm noted.

Most recently, he was independent technical adviser to Alacer Gold Corp and Midway Gold Corp, interim chief operating officer for Aurcana Corp and chief operating officer of Victoria Gold Corp.

At Alacer, he was responsible for building the Copler gold mine in east-central Turkey, and as vice-president of development for Kinross Gold responsible for engineering and construction for the re-opening of the Refugio mine in Chile.

Lydian shares are changing hands at $0.045.

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Lydian International Ltd. Timeline

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