AuStar Gold has transitioned its focus from exploration to production at the historic Morning Star and Rose of Denmark mines in Victoria.
The company has laid rail and preparation for stoping of the high-grade McNally’s Reef area, including the sourcing of the bulk of the material for plant feed, along with the Rose of Denmark mine.
AuStar has also recruited additional personnel, including the mining manager, underground miners, labourers and maintenance staff.
In line with AuStar’s plan to start the mines modestly, the Morning Star gravity plant will initially operate at a throughput rate of around 85 tonnes per day on a week on/week off basis.
This will increase as mining development and production advances.
Current mine and processing plans provide for production output to scale up to 100 tonnes per day on a single shift basis, with potential to move into a double shift if required.
“We are now moving rapidly towards gold production, and transitioning AuStar Gold beyond the ranks of aspiring gold explorers,” AuStar chief executive Tom de Vries said.
“Good progress is being made on the drive to the McNally’s Reef ore body, with resource exploration drilling ongoing and exceeding expectations.”
AuStar Gold has reached agreement for off-site treatment of production middlings (concentrate), which is expected to materially enhance gold recoveries.
Extensive testing over the past six months has confirmed that additional gold can be recovered by gravity treatment from the middlings fraction.
This step completes the final remaining hurdle for AuStar to maximise commercial gold recoveries, the company reported in an ASX statement.
“The various mining and processing initiatives outlined will enable rapid access to the McNally’s and other gold bearing structures within Morning Star and Rose of Denmark, lifting plant throughput and increasing gold production capacity,” de Vries said.
Development is still being completed to access Stone’s Reef at Morning Star.