KALGOORLIE (miningweekly.com) – Gold developer Bardoc Gold is investigating increasing gold production at its namesake project in Western Australia.
A previously completed definitive feasibility study (DFS) estimated that the project could produce some 135 760 oz/y over a mine life of just over eight years.
The study estimated that the project would require a capital investment of some A$177-million, with life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs of A$1 188/oz.
However, Bardoc CEO Robert Ryan told delegates at the Diggers & Dealers conference, in Kalgoorlie, that the company has initiated a study to accelerate production growth and cash flows during the first five years of operations.
Ryan said that preliminary analysis showed that there was strong potential to increase total ounce production in the first five years of operations by producing from the cornerstone Aphrodite deposit in the mine schedule.
“Aphrodite has a six-and-a-half-year mine life and can support some 660 000 oz of gold production,” said Ryan, noting that the deposit also offered significant exploration upside as it remained open at depth, along strike and through additional lodes.
As part of this new strategy, the proposed 2.1-million-tonne-a-year processing facility would be located at Aphrodite, rather than next to the Zoroastrian and Excelsior deposits, providing the opportunity to extract further value from the 1.6-million-ounce Aphrodite project and, in the future, from the highly prospective Omega, Sigma and Gamma lodes, where recent exploration success has highlighted the strong potential for significant resource growth.
Bardoc said on Tuesday that analysis suggested that the additional upfront capital expenditure required to bring forward construction of the flotation circuit required to treat baseload ore from the Aphrodite deposit was partially offset by other infrastructure cost reductions, while the additional high-grade ounces would provide strong free cash flow in the first five years of the mine plan.
“The revised mine plan allows us to bring forward ounce production in the mine plan and allow for sustained production from both underground mines concurrently. This enhances project economics, which will allow the company to repay debt earlier and expedite returns to shareholders,” Ryan said.
A final investment decision at Bardoc is planned for the end of the year, with Ryan hopeful that construction will start in 2022, pending financing.