PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Pit optimisation and higher gold prices have improved the economics of the Mount Mackenzie gold and silver project, in Queensland.
ASX-listed Resources and Energy reported this week that on the back of an updated mineral resource estimate, and accounting for a higher gold price, the optimisation work has confirmed the potential for a low-cost and profitable openpit development, producing a targeted 2.2-million tonnes.
At a mining rate of 500 000 t/y, the project would have a mine-life of some 62 months and would produce an estimated 95 000 oz of gold and 610 000 oz of silver mined, and 67 000 oz of gold and 392 000 oz of silver milled.
The optimisation results compared with the December scoping study, which found that for a capital cost of A$13-million, the company could develop a gold mine producing an average 43 200 oz and 242 400 oz of silver over a 43-month period.
As part of the project feasibility study, further work including drilling and metallurgical studies will be carried out to investigate a primary ore bulk concentrate option.
A detailed pit design incorporating additional features, including waste dump design, ore pads and haul road layouts will also be prepared.
Resources and Energy told shareholders that a programme of reverse circulation and diamond drilling has been designed to convert the remaining inferred resource into the indicated class, with the resources wholly located in the South West pit.