Drilling at SSR Mining’s (TSX: SSRM; NASDAQ: SSRM; ASX: SSR) Ardich gold deposit in Turkey has returned strong results as the company plans an initial reserve estimate slated for next year, followed by first production in 2023.
SSR reported results from 194 diamond drill holes completed between March 2020 and May 2021 at Ardich, located 6 km from its Copler gold mine.
Highlights from drilling include the following stepout holes:
40.7 metres of 7.48 g/t gold (including 5 metres of 29.99 g/t gold) from 155 metres depth in hole AR274;24.5 metres of 4.18 g/t gold (including 1 metre of 35.1 g/t gold) from 246 metres in hole AR280; and62.7 metres of 2.98 g/t gold (including 3.4 metres of 13.43 g/t gold) from 163 metres in hole AR356.
SSR completed a positive preliminary economic assessment last November for its 80%-owned Copler district, including the Copler mine, which produces sulphide ore and Ardich, a predominately oxide deposit.
The company says Ardich is a key organic growth initiative, with the PEA highlighting the potential for the deposit to contribute 1.1 million oz. of gold over an 11-year mine life for a capital investment of C$50 million.
SSR currently has seven drills onsite at Ardich conducting infill and stepout drilling.
“These are great results and we are eager to build them into our models as we aim to both improve on the Ardich PEA case presented in the current technical report and deliver an initial mineral reserve statement for the project,” said Rod Antal, SSR’s president and CEO. “Permitting and other works required to bring Ardich into production continue in parallel with the exploration and resource definition drilling.”
The company also completed a supplemental flotation circuit at its sulphide processing plant at Copler in June. Commissioning and rampup are expected to be complete in the third quarter.
Ardich is located 1.5 km north of SSR’s 50%-owed Cakmakepe mine (an oxide deposit), itself located about 5 km away from its 80%-owned Copler operation. Most of the resources so far defined at Ardich (96%) are on ground that is 80% held by SSR.
The Copler mine is expected to produce 310,000 to 340,000 oz. gold this year at all-in sustaining costs of $760-810 per oz.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)