Gold production volumes at Azerbaijan’s Chovdar field disclosed

BAKU: The first phase of the Chovdar field in Azerbaijan produced 243,400 ounces of gold, Chairman of the Board of Azerbaijan’s AzerGold CJSC Zakir Ibrahimov said during a press conference on the results of activities for 2023, Trend reports.

According to him, production has begun at the second phase of the deposit (sulfide phase and side deposits).

“There are two types of ores classified according to their properties influencing the extraction of the valuable component: oxide ores and sulfide ores. Oxide ores are formed as a result of the natural weathering of sulfide ores, with the gold and silver they contain being relatively unbound. Concurrently, intermediary ores, termed transit ores in scientific literature, exist between oxide and sulfide ores,” Ibrahimov said.

“The extraction of gold and silver from oxide ores relies on the heap leach pad (HLP) method, involving solution crushing and precipitation. Nonetheless, this processing approach faces economic challenges due to its low gold recovery percent
age. In instances where the method is applied to partial transit ores (oxide-sulfide mixed ores), and particularly in sulfide ores, the recovery rate is approximately 50 percent, rendering it economically impractical,” he added.

“Hence, to overcome this challenge, transit, and sulfide ores require initial artificial stripping before gold can be effectively precipitated, ensuring a more satisfactory yield. In the near future, a further extension of the operation of the Chovdar Integrated Regional Processing Area (CIRPA) is planned with the discovery of new deposits and an increase in resources in the region,” the chairman said.

Ibrahimov highlighted that considering these factors, comprehensive metallurgical studies were undertaken to ascertain the production method for all categories of ores intended for processing at CIRPA.

“MICON International, renowned for its international standing, has compiled an exhaustive feasibility study along with preliminary design documentation. As outlined in the project docu
mentation, the strategy involves employing a leaching ball for gold mines during the oxide phase and tank leaching in the sulfide phase (CIL – Carbon in Leach) to guarantee optimal efficiency,” he added.

AzerGold CJSC was established through the decree issued by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on February 11, 2015. It stands as one of the two enterprises dedicated to the extraction of gold and silver in Azerbaijan.

Currently, AzerGold is actively involved in the production and export of gold during the oxide (surface) phase of the Chovdar gold deposit’s development. This includes operations at the Aghyokhush deposit, initiated in the first phase starting from November 2020, the Marah deposit since July 23, 2021, and the Tulallar deposit since February 2023.

Source: Trend News Agency