29Metals has remained on track to produce first ore in late 2021 from its Xantho extended orebody at the Golden Grove copper-zinc mine in Western Australia.
First development ore was mined from Xantho in the September quarter and 29Metals managing director and chief executive officer Peter Albert said it would support the strength of Golden Grove into the future.
“We expect a strong finish to 2021 supported by unconstrained operations at Capricorn Copper and increasing contribution of ore from Xantho extended at Golden Grove,” Albert said.
“Development heading into the Xantho extended ore zone have continued to confirm model grades.”
Overall, Golden Grove production decreased by about 10 per cent for the September quarter, with 3280 tonnes of copper, 9035 ounces of gold, and 15,518 tonnes of zinc.
Albert said there was several factors which led to the mine’s slow rates for the quarter.
“Golden Grove had a weaker than planned quarter due to a rescheduling of zinc stopes which typically carry higher precious metals content, as well as being challenged by increasing external pressures from a further tightening labour market, border restrictions and unseasonably wet conditions that continued from the June quarter into the September quarter,” Albert said.
Golden Grove also suffered an outage of about 24 hours while it replaced SAG mill discharge lifter bolts which failed prematurely, according to 29Metals.
“This issue is unrelated to the successful trial of a new SAG mill hybrid polymetallic shell linings during the period which will elongate liner life and reduce ongoing downtime requirements,” the company stated.
Golden Grove is wholly owned by 29Metals with a mining rate in 2020 of 1.44 million tonnes per annum.