Dacian Gold has published a new life-of-mine (LOM) plan for its recently developed Mount Morgans gold operations near Laverton, Western Australia, where it declared commercial production on January 1. Production is now forecast to average 170,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over the first five years at all-in costs of A$1,340 to A$1,440/oz, including all capital spend.
Total gold production over the eight-year mine life is planned at 1.1 million oz. The mine plan is underpinned 92% by ore reserves and 8% by inferred mineral resources.
The Mount Morgans LOM mine plan assumes a combination of underground mining from the Westralia and Transvaal underground mines and open-pit mining from the Jupiter, Cameron Well, King Street, Mount Marvin, and Morgans North open pits. All mining will be completed by contract mining companies, with Dacian Gold personnel designing and overseeing all mining activities.
Significant potential exists to extend the 170,000-oz/y production rates beyond five years through conversion of existing mineral resources not used in the LOM plan to ore reserves, through resource growth at Westralia and Cameron Well, and through new discoveries at Morgans North and Basin Margin.
Underground ore horizons at Mount Morgans are accessed via a footwall decline. Ore extraction utilizes top-down conventional mechanized sub-level long-hole open stoping, with rib pillars and sill pillars left for void stability and ore dilution control. Sub-level development is 17 m with ore development via 4-m x 4-m drives. Minimum mining widths for stoping are 1.1 m, with 0.2 m dilution on both the hangingwall and footwall included in the mine design. Mining recoveries are estimated at 95% of mined stopes.
The LOM mine plan assumes the Mount Morgans treatment plant has a capacity of 2.9 million mt/y. The plant began gold production in April 2018 at its nameplate capacity of 2.5 million mt/y.