Lydian International Ltd (TSE:LYD) continues to advance towards first production at its huge Amulsar gold project in Armenia, it said, posting first quarter results.
Mangement sees production kicking off in the fourth quarter of this year, with ramp-up continuing into 2019.
Output is targeted to average around 225,000 ounces a year over an initial 10-year mine life once steady-state operations are achieved.
A wide range of development progress was made in the quarter, including completion of the crushing and screening plant, the ADR facility, high-voltage distribution, prefabricated buildings, and geotechnical designs.
The final stages of leach-pad contouring and clay underliner placement have continued, while installation of the liner for the process pond will commence in mid-May, and liner installation for the leach pad will commence thereafter.
The 35-kilovolt transmission lines are substantially complete as is the main mine substation. The latter will be energized in second quarter 2018 with feed from the utility's 110-kilovolt main transmission line that runs next to the mine substation, Lydian said.
Preoperational costs at Amulsar are estimated at $425mln, the firm said, and based on teh production schedule and ramp-up, Lydian expects an additional financing requirement of $65mln, it added.
On May 1 this year, it was announced that Howard Stevenson, president and chief executive had stepped down, succeeded by João Carrêlo, a senior mining executive with more than 34 years of international experience.
He said: "I look forward to leading the Lydian team through Amulsar's transition from the construction stage to production, capitalizing on opportunities, and, with the support of our stakeholders, building a strong and successful gold mining company."