PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A definitive feasibility study (DFS) into the Windarra gold tailings operation, in Western Australia, has confirmed that the project could produce between 53 500 oz and 55 200 oz of gold, subject to the mining method, over a 45-month period.
ASX-listed Poseidon Nickel on Friday reported that the project would have a modest development cost of between A$25.8-million to A$29.5-million, subject to the mining method selected, and a pay-back period of between 27 and 28 months.
MD and CEO Peter Harold told shareholders that the results of the DFS demonstrated a robust and profitable project retreating the gold tailings from the Windarra and Lancefield tenements.
“The gold tailings present a project which can generate positive cash flows to be invested into our nickel business, which is our primary focus. The tailings project would be ideal for a partnership-style arrangement or an outright sale. We will be actively looking for a high-quality partner to work with to bring this project into production or a party to acquire the project so we can monetise the asset for Poseidon shareholders,” Harold said.
The Windarra gold tailings project comprises the Windarra gold tailings mineral resource contained within the North and South tailings dams and the Lancefield gold tailings mineral resource contained on the Lancefield tenement.
The mineral resource comprises 4.75-million tonnes at the Windarra North and South dams at an average grade of 0.73 g/t gold and 1.21-million tonnes at Lancefield at an average grade of 1.27 g/t gold, all classified as Indicated resources.
Poseidon noted that there are some 161 000 oz of gold contained within the project mineral resource at indicated classification. The project also has access to an additional 0.38-million tonnes at an average grade of 1.20 g/t gold at Lancefield currently classified as an inferred resource. With additional resource definition drilling it is considered likely this material would be reclassified to an indicated resource, Poseidon said.
Production is expected to begin at Lancefield which will be conventionally mined using a front-end loader over a nine-month period. The Lancefield tailings will be hauled using road trains to Windarra for processing. Subject to the mining method option selected, the Lancefield tailings will either be side-tipped into a raised landform excavated trench or side-cast atop of the northern perimeter wall of the Windarra North dam.
The tailings will then be pumped to a conventional 1.5-million-tonne-a-year carbon-in-pulp (CIP) gold processing plant to recover the gold and silver.
Once mining of the Lancefield tailings is complete, the Windarra North and South dams will be reclaimed over a 36-month period and pumped to the CIP gold processing plant.
Poseidon on Friday told shareholders that the company would now start a process to seek opportunities to monetise the tailings project, in particular divestment or joint venture options presented.