OPEC member Algeria will fail to achieve an ambitious plan aimed at increasing its gold output to three tons this year from less than a ton, Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil was quoted on Sunday as saying.
Khelil said gold production would stand at 700 kilograms because of a lack of explosives, which would also hit other mines including zinc and lead “The minister told reporters that the production of gold should reach 700 kilograms this year instead of the 3,000 originally planned because of lack of explosives this year,” the official APS news agency reported. “This lack of explosives is not only a constraint for developing the production of gold but also a constraint for all mines of zinc and lead,” he said. “All mines are currently paralyzed by the lack of explosives,” the agency quoted him as adding.
Khelil also cited problems linked to routing explosives to mining sites as another obstacle preventing mines from being developed. Mines director at the energy and mines ministry Tahar Arrouj was quoted as saying in November 2007 gold output would reach three tons in 2008 after the launch of production at the Tirek-Amesmessa mine project.
Gold output stood at 377 kg in 2006 in Africa’s second-largest country, according to the ministry’s Website. (Reuters)