PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Medusa Mining has approved the $54-million spend on the Tigerway decline project, at its Co-O gold mine in the Philippines.
A study completed early in 2020 concluded that the establishment of the Tigerway decline was the best option to access ore below Level 12 at the mine, extending the mine life and enhancing operational and exploration flexibility at Co-O.
The decline construction is expected to take 36 months and will be funded from existing cash reserves and future operational cash flow.
While construction of the decline was approved in January last year, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the planned appointment of an Australia-based underground mining contractor. Since that time, Medusa has been evaluating the option of using a Philippines-based contractor to mitigate the Covid-19 restrictions, and has now employed Philippine contractor Mount Rock Powder Corporation (MRPC) to undertake the work.
MRPC has held the blasting contract at the Co-O mine for the last decade.
“The Co-O gold mine has been in production for 13 years and has been a consistent producer which continues to replace reserves as the orebody extends at depth. While the hoisting and shaft infrastructure has served the mine well over its life to date, we believe this is an important investment in the future efficiency of the operation,” said Medusa MD Andrew Teo.
“MPRC has been a trusted contract partner at Co-O with responsibility for blasting activities for the past 10 years and we are confident in their ability to deliver the decline project.
“The decline will be constructed by a dedicated contract workforce and we do not expect this activity to have any impact on ongoing operations. Our strong financial position means the project will be funded from our existing cash balance and future cash flows while maintaining flexibility to consider future dividend payments, dependent on the performance of the operation and the prevailing gold price,” said Teo.
Gold production at Co-O will continue at planned levels throughout the construction period.