Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields have announced the first gold bar pour from the jointly-owned Gruyere gold project in Western Australia.
The three doŕe gold bars totalling an estimated 1,139 oz were produced from the carbon‐in‐leach (CIL) and elution circuits, with the inaugural pour in line with the June quarter estimates. The companies noted that commissioning of the less complex gravity circuit was in progress.
Gold Fields Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said: “The pouring of the first gold at a global Tier 1 gold mine like Gruyere is a significant achievement. Gruyere is a tremendous asset based on a world‐class orebody and a forecast long mine life. The Gruyere JV’s focus now shifts to the safe and successful ramp‐up to nameplate capacity to allow us to deliver full value to all stakeholders.
“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding safety performance of the construction team which achieved 3 million construction hours without a lost time injury.”
Gold Road Managing Director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said the gold pour is a significant milestone given the Gold Road team discovered the Gruyere orebody less than six years ago.
“Our work is far from done – we remain committed to exploring the highly prospective Yamarna Greenstone Belt to unlock the potential through the discovery of more resource ounces for Gruyere and new discoveries that could be developed as stand‐alone gold mines. I want to thank the entire Gold Road team and our Gruyere JV partner, Gold Fields, for the safe and successful delivery of first gold at Gruyere.”
With the delivery of first gold bars, the focus now turns to commissioning of the final components of the process plant, in particular the ball mill, which is anticipated to be completed early in the September quarter. Commissioning of the gravity gold recovery circuit is in progress and follows reinstallation of pipe work required for the safe operation of the circuit, the companies said. Gold production will continue until the ball mill is fully operational and is integrated into the circuit.
During the commissioning and initial stages of ramp‐up, lower grade stockpiled ore will be processed to reduce gold losses associated with lower recoveries anticipated as the plant operations are stabilised.
Commencement of the operation of the ball mill will mark the start of an anticipated ramp‐up period of six to seven months. The Gruyere JV forecasts attaining commercial production mid‐way through the ramp‐up period, with anticipated gold production for 2019 to be between 75,000-100,000 oz.
The final forecast capital cost estimate remains in line with the previously announced A$621 million ($428 million).
Gruyere’s life‐of‐mine average annual production is forecast at approximately 300,000 oz/y at average all‐in sustaining Costs over a 12‐year life of approximately A$1,025/oz.