Copler Gold Mine

Key Çöpler Facts:

  • Ownership: 80% Alacer Gold, 20% Lidya Mining
  • Mining: Open pit by contractor
  • Processing: Heap leach
  • 2013 Gold Production: 271,063 ounces
  • Proven & Probable Reserves: 70.1 million tonnes at 1.6g/t gold for 3.6 million ounces (as at December 2013)
  • Measured & Indicated Resources: 194.2Mt at 1.4g/t gold for 8.5 million ounces (as at June 2013)

Çöpler History

  • September 1998 — Alacer acquired its first interest in Çöpler
  • January 2004 — Alacer consolidated 100% control of the Çöpler property
  • August 2009 — Strategic relationship with Lidya Mining formed
  • Late 2009 — Construction of the mine began
  • December 2010 — First gold poured
  • April 2011 — Commercial gold production commenced
  • December 2011 — Lidya Mining exercised option to increase its ownership to 20% (from 5%)
  • December 2013 — 645,749 cumulative ounces of gold produced

Alacer operates the world-class Çöpler Gold Mine that produced 271,063 ounces of gold during 2013. Çöpler has very substantial Proven and Probable Reserves of 3.6 million ounces of contained gold and Measured and Indicated Resources of 8.5 million ounces of contained gold.

Çöpler is located in central eastern Turkey, roughly 550 km east of Ankara and 120 km southwest of the city of Erzincan. The nearest population center is the town of Íliç (population 3,000) which is 6 km northeast of Çöpler.

Çöpler is currently an open-pit, heap-leach operation that is producing gold from oxide ore. The treatment of sulfide ore via pressure oxidation is being evaluated and a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") is planned to be completed by June 2014.

Çöpler Operations

During 2013, the Çöpler Gold Mine produced 271,063 ounces at Total Cash Costs of $429 per ounce from heap leaching of oxide ore.

Open-pit mining at Çöpler is a typical drill, blast, load haul operation which is undertaken by a Turkish contractor, Çiftay İnşaat Taahhüt Tic A.Ş.

Copler Gold District

Mining of the Manganese Pit commenced during 2010 and mining of the Marble and Main Pits commenced during 2012. The Manganese Pit has provided the majority of ore to date, however, the majority of ore is planned to be sourced from the Main Pit from the second half of 2014.

These three pits are currently optimized on mining oxide ore only and may ultimately become one large open pit when sulfide ore is included in the pit optimizations.

Processing of oxide ore commenced in 2011 with a three-stage crushing circuit nominally rated at 15,500 tonnes per day. In late 2013, a parallel clay handling circuit was commissioned to enable processing of ore with a higher clay content. The Çöpler plant now has the capacity to process approximately 17,000 tonnes per day of oxide ore.

The product from both of these circuits is conveyed to agglomeration and then delivered to the heap-leach pad via a series of portable conveyors for stacking and leaching. The heap-leach pad is underlain by an impermeable plastic liner on top of a layer of compacted clay.

To extract the gold from the ore, a low-concentration cyanide solution is applied to the agglomerated ore on the leach pad using a low-pressure irrigation drip system. The heap-leach pad is planned to have 8 lifts each approximately 8 meters high.

The resulting gold-bearing solution is gravity fed to the carbon-in-column circuit where gold is recovered from the solution. The barren solution is then re-circulated to the heap with added cyanide. Dore bars are produced onsite and transferred to third-party refineries for final recovery of gold and minor amounts of silver.

Over the life of the current heap-leach project, approximately 63% of the gold contained in the oxide ore is expected to be recovered.

Construction of a Sulfidation, Acidification, Recycle and Thickening ("SART") plant was completed in late 2013. The SART process removes soluble copper from the pregnant solution and thereby reduces the consumption of cyanide while maintaining gold recovery levels. As increasing amounts of ore are mined from Çöpler's Main Pit, increasing copper levels in the pregnant solution are expected to require the SART plant to be utilized and a saleable copper product will be produced.

Copler Gold Ore

Çöpler Development

Alacer's near-term organic growth is focused on developing Çöpler's sulfide ore in a disciplined manner. The sulfide Measured and Indicated Resource of 120.9 million tonnes at 1.5g/t gold represents 62% of the total tonnes in the Measured and Indicated Resource at Çöpler, or 6.0 million ounces out of the total 8.5 million ounces of contained gold.

During 2013, more than 1.3 million tonnes of sulfide ore were added to stockpiles with an average grade of 4.9g/t gold. The grade of the sulfide ore mined was significantly higher than predicted by the resource block models with a positive gold reconciliation of 39% on a contained ounce basis.

Çöpler's sulfide gold mineralization is refractory, as conventional cyanidization results in very poor gold recoveries. An exhaustive technical review completed during 2013 confirmed whole-ore pressure oxidation ("POX") provides the best economic return for processing the Çöpler sulfide ore.

POX is the only process that has been demonstrated to achieve nearly-complete oxidation of the sulfide ore (approximately 97%) with effective liberation of gold, resulting in gold recoveries of 94%.

In November 2013, Alacer announced that the Company is proceeding with a DFS on utilizing POX to treat Çöpler sulfide ore. The DFS is evaluating a 5,000 tonne per day POX plant that can be expanded if conditions warrant in the future. The DFS is planned to be completed in Q2 2014.

Outlook for 2014

Çöpler is forecast to produce 160,000 to 180,000 attributable ounces during 2014 at low All-in Costs $730 to $780 per ounce.

Following the completion of the Sulfide DFS, Alacer's Board of Directors will decide whether to proceed to detailed engineering and construction of the POX project.

Alacer's core exploration focus in Turkey during 2014 will be to further evaluate the oxide gold potential of the Çöpler District via drilling.

With substantial Mineral Resources and Reserves, the world-class Çöpler deposit is expected to be producing gold for many years to come.