PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Ramelius Resources has unveiled a one-million ounce life-of-mine plan for its Western Australian operations, with its newly acquired Tampia project to play a significant role in the future production.
Ramelius on Monday said that the new mine plan confirmed the company’s ability to produce more than one-million ounces, at an average all-in sustaining cost of between A$1 220/oz and A$1 320/oz over a five-year period, with the potential to deliver further resource extensions from the current operations.
Furthermore, a strategic review over the Tampia project confirmed the economic benefits of openpit mining at Tampia and trucking the ore to a modified Edna May processing plant, some 140 km to the north.
The throughput rate at Edna May is expected to reduce from the current 2.7-million tonnes a year nameplate capacity to 2-million tonnes a year, to accommodate the need for a finder grind for both the Marda and Tampia Hill ore sources, which will become the base load ore feed over the coming five years.
Ramelius said that the reduction in the throughput will be more than offset by a significant increase in the average grade through the mill.
Ramelius MD Mark Zeptner told shareholders that although the company had been a successful gold miner for more than ten years, it has never been in a position to demonstrate such a significant mine life.
“It is a testament to all of our team that we can now articulate a long-term plan with production scale, strong margins and an achievable approach to reserve replacement that gives us confidence that this visibility around mine life is here to stay.”
Group gold production for the 2020 financial year is expected to be some 215 000 oz, marginally lower than the previously guided 230 000 oz to 250 000 oz, as a result of moving the Greenfinch openpit project at Edna May back by six month to allow for the Western Australian government to assess the reduced clearing permit.
For 2021, group production is expected to be 235 000 oz.
The strategic review into the Tampia project compared the merits of an on-site processing facility versus a mining only operation, with ore haulage to the Edna May gold mine.
The review found that capital cost for the processing facility would increase the Tampia project costs to A$118.5-million, compared with the A$50-million required for the haulage option, with mining costs in the haulage option being more expensive at A$39.88/t of ore, compared with the A$29.50/t for the processing facility option.
Cash flow from the processing facility option would also be higher at A$196-million, compared with the A$82-million from the haulage option, with the net present value was estimated at A$125-million for the processing option and A$67-million for the haulage option.
Ramelius told shareholders that the haulage model delivered significantly superior rates of return and net present value outcomes compared with a milling option also reviewed, with the board resolving to move forward with the project development on the basis of milling through the Edna May production center.