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Olympias is an existing gold-silver-lead-zinc mine located in the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece.

It has very high gold-grades and an orebody that will allow for mining rates up to 1 million tonnes per annum. Olympias is being re-developed in three phases.

Key Facts

Location Halkidiki Peninsula, Greece
Mine type Underground
Metals mined Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc
Employees/contractors ~520
Expected mine life 22 years*
Deposit type Polymetallic carbonate replacement
Ownership 95%
Resources & Reserves

* Based on current proven and probable reserves.

2019 Outlook

Olympias Phase II achieved commercial production on 31 December, 2017.

In 2019, Olympias is expected to mine and process 430,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 7.8 grams per tonne, producing 50,000-55,000 ounces of payable gold at operating costs of $550-650 per ounce. Sustaining capital expenditure is expected to be $20-25 million on underground capitalized development, an infill diamond drill program, raise bore installations, mobile machinery, equipment rebuilds and process plant upgrades. Development capital expenditures are expected to be $10-15 million, including a pump station installation underground along with various infrastructure upgrades associated with completed Phase II as well as ongoing engineering associated with Phase III.

The Olympias mine also produces significant amounts of lead-silver and zinc concentrates and, depending on metal prices, the Company may take advantage of the flexibility inherent in this polymetallic orebody in order to optimize cash flow.

In 2019, the exploration drilling program at Olympias is expected to be 7,000 metres.

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Operating Data


2019E 2018A 2017A
Gold produced (oz) 50,000-55,000 46,75018,472*
Ore mined/processed (t)
322,659
Gold grade (g/t) 7.8 7.75
Cash operating costs ($/oz) 550-650 764
Sustaining capex ($M) 20.0-25.0 12.2

* Ounces produced include pre-commercial production 


Development Approach

Eldorado is developing Olympias in three phases.

Phase 1 (2013-2016)

Phase I is an environmental clean-up of previously mined tailings and includes the refurbishment of the processing plant and underground mine. Tailings retreatment commenced in 2012, produced approximately 20,000 ounces of gold per year, and is now complete. Environmental reclamation of the Olympias tailings management facility is ongoing. 5.8km of underground has been refurbished to date plus 8km of new development.

Phase 2 (2017-2022)

Phase II involves processing ore from the underground through the refurbished mill using a flotation process to produce three concentrates: lead-silver, zinc, and gold bearing pyrite-arsenopyrite. Commercial production from Phase 2 was achieved on 31 December, 2017. Phase 2 production is estimated to be approximately 72,000 ounces of gold per year plus approximately 55,000 ounces of gold equivalent. Capital costs associated with the final stages of Phase 2 construction are budgeted at $101 million. The Company constructed a new paste backfill plant (part of the original Phase II scope) and installed an additional tailings filter. The filter and the paste plant were completed in 2018.

Phase 3 (~2022-2025)

Phase III involves a production ramp-up to an estimated 170,000 ounces of gold per year plus approximately 130,000 ounces of gold equivalent. Designs are currently under development with engineering ongoing for a new mill site in the adjacent Stratoni Valley.

 

Please see our presentation Olympias Project for more information. 

 

Indicative Operating Data - Phase 2

2018-2022
Tonnes milled 400,000-435,000 Mt
Au grade 9.4-10.5 g/t
Au recovery to concentrate 90%
Au payability ~58%
Au payable production 68,000-76,000 oz
Ag payable production 985-1,450 koz
Pb payable production 11,000-16,000 t
Zn payable production 14,000-16,000 t
C1 – Operating cash cost* $190-330/oz
C2 – Total cash cost $230-370/oz
Sustaining cash cost** $410-660/oz

*Net of by-products
**C2 + sustaining capital

Geology and Mineralization

Olympias is a gold-rich polymetallic carbonate replacement deposit hosted in an interlayered sequence of feldspar-biotite gneiss and marble within the Paleozoic Kerdylia Formation of the Serbo-Macedonian Massif, NE Greece. It contains multiple lenses which together extend in a NNE direction for over 1.5 km, plunge 30 to 35° SW, and have an average thickness of 12 m. Two main end-member ore types are recognised; a base metal-rich ore type and a high arsenic-silica, high gold ore type. The latter typically occurs in the core of the ore lenses and is dominated by grey arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite and subordinate galena and sphalerite with quartz-rich gangue. Gold grades are typically >10 to 30 g/t. The base metal-rich ore is characterized by variable pyrite, galena and sphalerite with lesser arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite, and calcite-rich gangue. Gold grades are commonly in the range of 2 to 10 g/t. Both ore types locally contain spectacular bladed to dendritic arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite with massive base metal sulphides. The Olympias deposit likely formed during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene coincident with magmatism in the region.

Exploration

Little systematic exploration has been conducted at Olympias outside of the confines of the known ore body, and consequently nearby areas have outstanding exploration potential. The deposit is open downplunge, and numerous brownfields targets exist that have had little or no drill testing. Ongoing rehabilitation of existing workings and underground development into new areas will provide access to test these exploration targets.

History

2017 Installation Permit for the paste plant, Technical Study for the Old Olympias Mine Closure, and Mine Operating Permit received in September. Phase II commercial production achieved at the end of December.
2016 Installation permit to begin Phase II granted in March
2013 7% increase in Olympias gold resources year on year from 4.3 Moz to 4.6 Moz
2012 Eldorado acquires Olympias via the acquisition of European Goldfields; Tailings retreatment commenced
2011 EIA received for the Kassandra Mines (includes Olympias, Skouries and Stratoni)
2004 Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of European Goldfields, acquired Olympias from the Greek state
1999 Feasibility study completed by TVX
1995 Ownership transferred to TVX Gold Incorporated from Greek state

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