Gold miner Silverlake Resources has decided to take a “hybrid owner-operator” model at its Aldiss project in Western Australia as it looks to speed up development and boost profitability.
Aldiss is comprised of the Harry’s Hill, Karonie and French Kiss deposits, which have an aggregate ore reserve of 2.87 million tonnes at 2.2 g/t for 203,000 ounces.
Topsoil and overburden removal commenced at the first of Aldiss’ deposits, Harry’s Hill, in the June quarter, while infrastructure works, including construction of a 36 km road, administration offices, 80-man camp, power and communications infrastructure are well advanced, according to the company.
This means the company is on track for first ore delivery to the mill in the December quarter.
As part of the hybrid owner-operator model, all major earthmoving equipment has been “dry hired” with Silverlake providing all operating labour.
“The adoption of this model (as opposed to engaging a mining contractor) results in an accelerated mine plan and an improvement in project margins and NPV,” the company said.
Once infrastructure is established and target mining rates achieved at Aldiss, the focus will shift, in the first six months of 2019, to evaluating several near surface exploration targets along what Silverlake calls the “SAT” trend.