JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed gold producer Range River Gold on Tuesday reported that the restart of its Mount Morgans gold mine, in Western Australia, would deliver more gold than previously anticipated.
Planned production rates for the underground operation were now estimated to be at least 40 000 oz/y of gold, as compared with the 30 000 oz/y previously estimated.
The gold miner reported that its mining consultant had completed both the mining plan for the Transvaal deposit at the Mount Morgans mine, and an ore reserve based on the joint ore reserve committee compliant mineral resource.
The production rate from the Transvaal deposit of about 40 000 oz/y of gold would form the major source of ore for the production plant at Mount Morgans, by 2010. First production at the project was planned for December this year.
The Mount Morgan mining operations were ceased in 1998, after the production of 1,2-million ounces of gold, owing to the low gold price of A$470. Range River has identified four early production opportunities, and was currently progressing the mining of these deposits, with the plan to be in production by the December quarter.
The ore at the Transvaal deposit would be mined through underground means, however, the company stated that dewatering and rehabilitation of the decline, as well as establishment of services would have to be done at the site.
The first ore at the Mount Morgans project would be produced from the Craic and Ramornie deposits, and would be done through openpit mining. The mining proposal for these deposits were currently being evaluated by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, but was still on track for a December quarter production.
The recruitment for site management has started, and tender responses have been received from contract mining groups. Diamond drilling to obtain core for resource confirmation and geotechnical assessment has also started.