Cerro Corona gold-copper start-up delayed, costs rise, says Gold Fields

The start-up of Gold Fields` Cerro Corona gold-copper project in Peru will be delayed by four months with ore treatment now due to begin by mid-June 2008 rather than March because of the South African company`s inability to complete engineering tasks on schedule.

Cerro Corona, in Cajamarca department, is due to produce 140,000 oz per year of gold and more than 27,000 tpy of copper contained in concentrates.

Poor rock quality and inadequate material delivery rates have hampered building the tailings management facility and several contractors responsible for installing the concentrator have underperformed, Gold Fields said.

The company also increased its forecast for capital costs. Construction costs will rise by 23 percent to $421 million from $343 million, it said.

"While we are disappointed with the delay and the increased construction costs, Cerro Corona remains a robust project and will make a significant contribution to the future of Gold Fields. We have thoroughly reviewed every facet of this project and I am confident that the required steps have been taken to ensure completion within the revised project schedule and budget," said ceo Ian Cockerill, in a statement.

Cerro Corona has reserves of 3.2 million oz of gold and 1,089 million lb of copper.

Publication: Metal Bulletin
Provider: Metal Bulletin com
Date: November 15, 2007

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