PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Evolution Mining is hoping that the New South Wales government will fast-track its development application for the Cowal underground mine, granting approval in the first half of next year.
Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference, Evolution GM for transformation and effectiveness Amanda Weir stated that it was hoped that first ore from the underground operation would be achieved 12 months after approvals.
Evolution in July this year announced a maiden underground ore reserve of 804 000 oz for the underground operation, with the mineral resource increasing to 2.9-million ounces.
The underground operation is expected to have a production rate of between 1.5-million and 2-million tonnes a year, which would supplement the openpit feed and support Cowal production reaching more than 300 000 oz/y.
Weir said on Tuesday that the underground operation would extend the mine life at Cowal from the current nine years, to 12 years, while a further 160 permanent staff would be employed once the underground operation is in production, increasing Cowal staff numbers to 660.