Kidman Resources confirmed that production is set to resume at its Burbanks gold mine near Coolgardie in Western Australia following a period of successful underground mine development. The Dahmu mineral resource has been accessed on the 1,350 level with strike driving now under way. Stoping of some remnant mining blocks on both Dahmu and Tailor has also commenced, with a small stockpile now on the ROM Pad.
Kidman acquired an initial 80% interest in Burbanks in May 2015 and produced 5,742 ounces (oz) at an average grade of 2.47 g/t between September and December 2015.
It then purchased the remaining 20% interest from joint venture (JV) partner Blue Tiger Mining, paving the way for it to make significant operational improvements that would deliver substantial benefits.
During the March quarter of 2016, Kidman terminated the mining services contract held by the JV partner and appointed highly experienced underground mining contractor Pybar. The company also made the decision to adopt handheld mining methods at Burbanks, which are better suited to its narrow vein, high-grade mineral resource. Historically, Burbanks has mined 820,900 metric tons at 13.9 g/mt producing 366,000 oz of gold.
Since Pybar mobilized to site, more than 240 m of development has been completed and significant improvements have been made to the mine, including capital works to improve the underground infrastructure such as upgrading escapeways and increasing both primary and secondary ventilation capacity. Improvements have also been made to the dewatering system, the electrical reticulation and power supply and to safety standards throughout the mine.
Kidman has also commenced planning for an improved water management system that will allow it to consider accessing “Burbanks Deeps.” This area around the historic 7 level is 100 vertical m below the current limit of mine workings.