Canada-based Euro Sun Mining has explained its decision to design its Rovina Valley gold project, in Romania, as a so-called “green” gold project, without the use of wet tailings facilities and cyanide.
In a statement addressing “many questions” from shareholders following the February release of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA), Euro Sun CEO Scott Moore said that the company had opted for a “better environmentally and socially responsible project”, rather than to “just maximise profitability”.
Euro Sun acknowledged that Rovina Valley would have had a lower capital budget and lower operating costs, if a traditional wet tailings facility were to be built. Using cyanide in a closed circuit would have generated higher recoveries, therefore, higher tax revenues for government.
Initial capital expenditure for the Phase 1 development, which is based on producing 108 000 oz/y gold and 13.3-million pounds a year of copper, is estimated at $339-million.
“Rovina Valley is a clear example of a project that meets today’s investor mandate for environmental social governance companies in which to invest,” said Moore.
He added that the decision to stay clear of wet tailings and cyanide was a “conscientious” one and was made jointly by the company and the government of Romania.
The current PEA updates a study of nine years earlier, which had outlined a larger-scale operation than the phased approach currently planned. The initial PEA would have involved the simultaneous exploitation of both openpit deposits – Colnic and Rovina.
The 2019 PEA is based on only exploiting the Colnic deposit, but includes the 20 000 t/y dry stack tailings processing facilities that will be used in treating ore from both deposits.