Dalradian Resources reported in late July 2012 positive results from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a proposed underground mine at its wholly-owned Curraghinalt gold deposit in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The study outlines a 15-year mine life at a processing rate of 1,700 mt/d, producing approximately 145,000 oz/y of gold. Average mined grade is estimated at 8.1 g/mt gold. Life-of-mine gold production is estimated at 2.223 million oz.
Capital expenditures to the start of production at Curraghinalt are estimated at $192 million, including contingencies of $36.9 million. Sustaining capital is estimated at $110 million, for a total life-of-mine capital spend of $302 million. Cash operating costs are estimated at $532/oz of gold produced.
Micon International led the Curraghinalt PEA study. The mine plan developed by Micon is based on mechanized longhole mining, with ramp access and truck haulage. Ramp access was chosen over shaft access due to the long lateral extent and relatively shallow depths of the deposit. The deposit is open at depth, and a shaft may be required in the future to access levels below the current mine plan.
The mine plan is inclusive of inferred resources, which will require further exploration drilling to upgrade them to higher resource categories.
The proposed Curraghinalt processing plant has a conventional flowsheet of crushing, grinding, cyanidation and conventional tailings disposal. Total gold recoveries, based on existing metallurgical test work, are expected to be approximately 92%.
Dalradian Resources is a Canadian junior company based in Toronto. “Our next steps are to better understand the existing Curraghinalt resource; prove, through drilling, that the system has a lot of room to grow; and move ahead with planning and permitting for underground development. We have people and drills on the ground right now working toward these goals,” Dalradian Chairman and CEO Patrick F.N. Anderson said.