The first doŕe was recently poured at the Gruyere Gold Project, located approximately 200 kilometers (km) east of Laverton in Western Australia. The three gold bars, totaling an estimated 1,139 ounces (oz), were produced from the carbon-in-leach (CIL) and elution circuits. Commissioning of the less complex gravity circuit is in progress.
Gruyere is a 50/50 joint venture with Gold Road and Gold Fields. Gold Fields’ 50% ownership is held by Gruyere Mining Co. Pty Ltd.
“The pouring of the first gold at a global Tier 1 gold mine like Gruyere is a significant achievement,” said Gold Fields Executive Vice President Stuart Mathews. “Gruyere is a tremendous asset and the JV’s focus now shifts to the safe and successful ramp up to nameplate capacity. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding safety performance of the construction team, which achieved 3 million construction hours without a lost time injury.”
“This gold pour is a tremendous milestone given that the Gold Road team discovered the orebody less than six years ago,” said Gold Road Managing Director and CEO Duncan Gibbs. “Our work is far from done. We remain committed to exploring the highly prospective Yamarna Greenstone Belt.”
With the delivery of the 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. 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 stabilized.
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 midway through the ramp-up period.
The Gruyere JV anticipates gold production for 2019 to be between 75,000 oz and 100,000 oz. The Final Forecast Capital Cost estimate remains in line with the previously announced $621 million. Life-of-mine average annual production for Gruyere is forecast at approximately 300,000 oz at an average AISC over a 12-year life of approximately $1,025/oz.