CHINA: OUR CONSISTENT PRODUCERS
Our open pit and underground Jinfeng mine had a very strong year with gold production 37% higher due to a full year’s production from the open pit, higher average head grade and higher recovery rates. Cash operating costs were 22% lower than in 2013. Jinfeng trialled various long-hole mining methods and implemented a full tailings backfill system that will reduce future needs for tailings dam capital. The mine was audited in late 2014 by the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC) authorities and received certification in early 2015. Jinfeng is the first gold mine in China to receive ICMC certification.
Our Tanjianshan open pit mine remained Eldorado’s lowest-cost producer with cash operating costs of $389 per ounce in 2014. Gold production was 6% higher year over year due to higher average treated head grade and gold-in-circuit inventory drawdown. Work commenced on the underground decline to access the high-grade Qinlongtan deeps deposit which we expect to start drilling in Q2 2015. Tanjianshan achieved a year with no lost-time injuries.
Gold production at our underground White Mountain mine was 17% higher year over year due to higher average treated head grade, ore throughput and average recovery rate. Cash operating costs were 12% lower than in 2013. Cost savings were achieved through efficiencies and optimization of backfill operations. Improvements were made to White Mountain’s fleet maintenance program, with all maintenance now done onsite. Underground exploration saw a 20% increase in proven and probable gold reserves and safety performance improved through various initiatives.