Evolution overcomes Cowal shutdown to drive production

Evolution Mining is tracking ahead of its 2021 financial year plan, with production totalling 170,021 ounces during the September quarter across its Australian and Canadian operations.

This result was guided by the Cowal gold mine in New South Wales, which overcame a planned major plant shutdown during August to produce 51,774 ounces of gold.

Evolution continues to progress the development of the Cowal underground mine, having submitted development and modification applications to the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Additionally, the Evolution board approved the development of the Galway exploration decline, which will enable drilling to increase at the underground ore reserves, to be used for future production at the site.

Once expanded, Cowal underground will enable mining operations to continue for 15-plus years from 2023, with construction due to commence in 2021, subject to statutory and board approvals.

The company described this as an “important milestone” in growing Cowal’s production to 350,000-ounces plus per annum.

At the Mungari mine in Western Australia, Evolution produced 35,370 ounces of gold and continued drilling at the Boomer high grade vein during September, with assay results from drilling expected during the December quarter.

Plant throughput at Mungari exceeded its nameplate rate of 1.6 million tonnes per annum by 25 per cent, exceeding 2 million tonnes per annum, processing ore at an average grade of 2.35 grams per tonne and a recovery rate of 90.9 per cent.

In Queensland, Evolution produced 24,569 ounces of gold and 5040 tonnes of copper at Ernest Henry, 20,024 ounces of gold at Mt Rawdon and 11,646 ounces of gold at Mt Carlton.

Production at Mt Rawdon was impacted by a rock fall in the open pit in September, which prevented ramp access to higher grade material for three weeks.

The total material mined at Mt Rawdon was below plan, at 2.5 million tonnes but Evolution expects to recover this during the December period.

Evolution’s Red Lake operations in Canada had an 11 per cent reduction in available operating time during the quarter due to a forest fire during August, which resulted in the temporary suspension of operations and evacuation of the community, including workers.

Despite this, the company produced 26,638 ounces of gold at Red Lake, below the June quarter result of 27,428 ounces, with Evolution working to restore Red Lake’s operations to above 200,000 ounces per annum.

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