The Company’s near-term focus in Kyrgyzstan is on the development of its Tulkubash heap leach project. An extensive drilling programme and feasibility studies carried out over many years have revealed a rich deposit of high-grade ore in the Tulkubash, Contact and Main zones of the deposit.

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Tulkubash Kyzyltash

Construction / Development

The Company’s near-term focus in Kyrgyzstan is on the development of its Tulkubash heap leach project. An extensive drilling programme and feasibility studies carried out over many years have revealed a rich deposit of high-grade ore in the Tulkubash, Contact and Main zones of the deposit.

Discovery costs per ounce and ounces discovered per metre drilled are very encouraging and continue to validate the belief that Tulkubash will continue to grow into a world-class gold deposit and is the beginning of an emerging new gold district.

Construction is ongoing at Tulkubash and the first gold production remains on schedule for 2022. The Company continues to advance detailed engineering and has finalised several project components for immediate construction readiness.


StageIn construction
Target LOM Avg. Production94 koz Au
Target LOM Avg. EBITDA ($1,400US$54m
  • Initial reserve base of 22.2Mt ore grading 0.92g/t Au, containing 658koz ounces of gold, an increase of 39%;
  • Average gold production of 94,000 ounces per annum over an initial mine life of 5.3 years;
  • All-in sustaining cost (AISC) of USD819 per ounce, including all taxes;
  • Significant capital expenditure optimisation, which has resulted in an overall reduction from USD132 million to USD110 million; and
  • Improved post tax NPV of USD70 million (at 5% discount rate) and IRR of 20%, using a USD 1,300/oz gold price.

Oxide ore will be crushed at the processing plant to 12.5mm and stacked directly on the heap leach pad. Through a simple chemical process gold will be extracted from the zero-discharge heap leach pad into a solution, passed through carbon columns to extract the gold, from where it will be further refined at site through elution, electro-winning and smelting, to deliver a doré bar of gold and silver with minor impurities. Overall gold recovery is expected to be 70%.

Chaarat has signed a Joint Venture Agreement with Çiftay İnsaat Tahhüt ve Ticaret A.S (“Çiftay”), the Turkish mining and mine construction contractor over the development of Tulkubash and Kyzyltash. This follows the announcement on March 2019 that Chaarat had signed a binding term sheet to enter into a Joint Venture.

Çiftay has extensive experience as a mining and civil engineering contractor at multiple mine sites in Turkey including two major gold mines.

Under the agreement, based on an agreed valuation of US$252 million (post money) for the two assets, Çiftay will progressively invest US$31 million for a 12.5% equity stake in Tulkubash and Kyzyltash.

Çiftay’s investment provides a significant amount of the required equity for the Tulkubash project. Total capital expenditure for the project is between US$120 and $130 million.

Ciftay, a partner since 2017, has been appointed as a construction and long-term mining contractor for the Tulkubash project. Çiftay has commenced earthworks, negotiated at arms-length rates, which represent an improvement to the terms indicated in the 2018 Feasibility Study.

Construction and Equity partnerÇiftay İnsaat Tahhüt ve Ticaret A.S
Measured & Indicated Resources1,624 koz contained gold; 42 MT at 1.2 g/t
Anticipated Start DateQ4 2022
Life of Mine5 years @ 100koz p.a.
Production95 koz / year
Extraction ProcessOpen pit, contract mining, heap leach, 2.9mtpa processing capacity

Exploration up to January 2019 has defined 1,657,000 ounces of gold through approximately 78,000m of drilling. This is contained within a 3.2km of strike in the southern portion of Chaarat’s 6km long mining licence. Drilling in 2018 confirmed that mineralisation was continuous along strike, extending the proposed open pit to include previously identified along-strike satellite deposits.

Site Layout

  • Electrical power - provided by a rented diesel generating station comprising generators, step-up transformers and 10kV switchgear
  • Raw water will be supplied all year around from two pumping stations drawing water from two separate boreholes
  • Other infrastructure comprising camp facilities, administrative buildings, a clinic and laboratories will also be constructed
7% of project construction completed to date, work on site continuing despite COVID-19

Tulkubash – Mining

Multiple Open Pits
  • Open pit design generated by defining economic pit limits using pit optimization techniques and then turning the optimized pit shells into minable designs using computer-aided design tools
  • Numerous open pits have been designed. The largest open pit, with a 370 m highwall, will be in the 1.5 km long Main Zone (MZ) which will contribute approximately 80% of the forecast production
  • A contiguous Satellite Zone comprises eleven smaller open pits northeast of the MZ over a 2 km strike length
  • The relatively high-grade East Pit is located in the East Zone, 3 km from the MZ at the eastern extent of the current mining area

Tulkubash – Metallurgy & Processing

Standard Heap Leach Flow Sheet
  • Extensive metallurgical testwork completed to date by well-respected international organisations (RDI, Mintek, SGS, WAI, BGRIMM, RDI and LogiProc)
  • Flowsheet envisages
    • 3-stage crushing
    • Stacking and heap leaching using cyanide (using a valley fill operation)
    • Processing of pregnant leach solution in an adsorption-desorption-recovery (“ADR”) plant
    • Gold and silver Doré bars produced
  • Internationally recognised vendors are used
    • YPT / Metso (Turkey/South Africa) – Crushing Circuit
    • Ausenco (Canada) – Heap Leach Design
    • Azmet (South Africa) – ADR Plant

Tulkubash – Heap Leach Facility & Process Plant

Tulkubash – Heap Leach Facility Schematics

Significant Potential for Mine Life Extension

Additional Oxide Resource for Tulkubash only
Mine life extension driven through ongoing exploration to identify additional reserves