Erdene Resource Development (TSX: ERD)(MSE: ERDN) said on Tuesday it expects to pour first gold at its Bayan Khundii project in southwestern Mongolia in late 2025, when it will become one the country’s primary producers of the precious metal
Announcing results of an updated independent feasibility study for Bayan Khundi, chief executive officer Peter Akerley said the mine will be one of the world’s highest grade open-pit gold operations.
Highlights of the study include a base case after-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of US$170 million, using a 5% discount rate, and 35.3% internal rate of return (IRR), increasing to US$196 million and 38.95% IRR, respectively, at the current gold price of US$1,900 per ounce.
Production is expected to average 74,200 ounces of gold a year at an all-in sustaining cost of $869 per ounce over its 6.5-year mine life.
Compared with the 2020 feasibility study, total recovered ounces increased 25% to 476,000 ounces thanks mainly to the incorporation of additional resources from Bayan Khundii and the Dark Horse Mane deposit.
“Through our strategic alliance with MMC, Mongolia’s largest independent miner, we are moving rapidly towards production,” Akerley said. “In the meantime, we continue to explore, discover and develop the other mineral deposits in our Khundii minerals district.”
While coal has been one of Mongolia’s main mining exports, the country has been investing in sustainable development, with initiatives in green agriculture and renewable energy.
The country is hots to Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON: RIO) Oyu Tolgoi, which will become the world’s fourth-biggest source of copper at its peak, in 2030.