| ||The Olympias project is being developed in several phases.|
- Tailings Phase will consist of reprocessing 2.4Mt of stockpiled old tailings from the previous operations at Olympias at an annualised rate of 720ktpa producing revenue during the 3½ years of this phase from the sale of approximately 350kt of pyrite/arsenopyrite concentrates containing approximately 230koz of gold. This will have the added benefit of rehabilitating a large part of the Olympias valley. The underground works will be refurbished and developed during this period. There is minimal risk associated with the concentrator process as the Olympias plant has operated successfully for many years producing concentrates within the set metallurgical parameters. The neutralised coarse tailings will be processed by a filter press and may be sold into the local aggregates market whilst the fine tailings will be transported to and disposed of in the Stratoni Tailings Management Facility ("TMF").
- Olympias Concentrator Phase will consist of underground mining initially around the existing shaft and other infrastructure. Production of ore is expected to ramp up progressively from 300ktpa to approximately 400ktpa through the expansion of underground infrastructure for four years. This will include a new decline from the surface at the Olympias concentrator to the top of the existing ramp to transport ore and waste to surface and provide necessary additional ventilation. There may initially be below target lead and silver recoveries at the concentrator due to oxidation of the near surface ore. An allowance has been made for this in the project assessment. Revenue during this phase will be generated from the sale of pyrite/arsenopyrite, lead/silver and zinc concentrates shipped through the upgraded Stratoni port facility. All coarse tailings will be utilised underground with cement as backfill and the fine tailings transported to the Stratoni TMF.
- Stratoni New Concentrator Phase will commence when the 8.5km Stratoni decline connects a new centralised concentrator and tailings management facility in the brownfield Stratoni valley to the base of the Olympias deposit. Ore production will ramp up to approximately 850ktpa and will be trucked up the decline for the subsequent 17 years with all of the coarse tailings from the concentrator returned as backfill material. Revenue will be generated from the sale of pyrite/arsenopyrite, lead/silver and zinc concentrates. Investigations and test work to enable the construction of a gold plant at this site continue with the intention to sell matter containing gold and silver.
The facilities at Olympias include a water treatment plant. Water pumping and treatment was ongoing in 2010.
The mine schedules, plant refurbishment plans and cost studies for the ongoing phases of the Olympias project are approaching completion. The EIS was submitted by Hellas Gold in July 2010 and was approved in July 2011. The EIS covers all environmental issues for the project.
In preparation for tailings reprocessing to produce pyrite arsenopyrite gold rich concentrate, repair work to the Olympias concentrator building and plant is nearing completion. A mechanical and electrical audit of the plant has been carried out and the necessary purchase orders prepared ready for placement. Production of the pyrite arsenopyrite gold rich concentrate is scheduled to commence later in 2011. The refurbishment and enlargement of the mine access decline has also progressed in preparation for the commencement of extending the mine development to allow ore production once the reclamation of tailings is finished.
The Metallurgical Process
Source: European Goldfields