PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner WPG Resources has tapped contract miner Byrnecut Australia as the preferred contractor for the Challenger Deep development, in Western Australia.
WPG reported on Friday that rehabilitation work at the bottom of the Jumbuck decline at Challenger had been completed, and development towards the next production level had started, with first stoping expected later this year.
Following a tender process, WPG has issued a letter of intent to Byrnecut, which was the contractor at the Challenger mine prior to WPG acquiring the project in 2016.
WPG executive chairperson Bob Duffin said on Friday that the recent placement and the current entitlement issue to shareholders were designed to achieve a number of objectives, including the underground development at Challenger to allow sustained ongoing mining operations.
“We have accumulated run-of-mine stockpiles at both Challenger and Tarcoola to ensure minimal impact on milling operations during the changeover period,” he added.
WPG in its March quarterly report flagged the possible upgrade of the Challenger mill, which treats ore from the Challenger and Tarcoola mines. The miner said, at the time, that the plant could currently run at a capacity of between 600 000 t/y and 700 000 t/y and that this could be increased to 800 000 t/y with limited additional expenditure.