Evolution Mining says it has achieved a major milestone in its planned growth of getting the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, to circa-320,000 oz in its 2024 financial year, with underground production commencing ahead of schedule.
The first underground stope has commenced being mined and processed this month, with continued ramp up of the underground expected over the remainder of this financial year (to end-June). This is three months ahead of the previously announced original schedule of the June 2023 quarter.
In 2021, the Evolution board and regulators approved the development of the Cowal Underground Mine, which is set to provide a higher-grade ore source that will be blended with the current open-pit operation and stockpile ore.
Perenti’s Barminco underground mining business has been conducting all underground development and production works for the project as part of a A$520 million, four-year agreement signed last year.
The project remains within the original A$380 million ($254 million) budget, according to Evolution, with the completion of the accommodation village and commissioning of the paste plant remaining on track for the June 2023 quarter.
Evolution’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Lawrie Conway, said: “We have achieved a major milestone at Cowal with the early commencement of production from the new underground mine. It is a credit to the project team to be able to commence production ahead of schedule and on budget in the current inflationary market conditions for project development and construction.
“We are now on the pathway to increase Cowal’s production from the current FY23 guidance of ~275,000 oz to FY24 outlook of circa-320,000 low cost ounces.”