Capricorn up to scratch at Karlawinda gold mine

Additional CIL tanks under construction at the Karlawinda gold project. Image: Capricorn Metals.

Capricorn Metals has achieved steady-state production at the Karlawinda gold mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, marking its first quarter of operations after construction in June.

The company produced 24,329 ounces of gold for the September quarter, with production between 110,000 to 125,000 ounces per annum expected from October onward.

The September quarter also included various commissioning and optimisation activities taking place.

These included the operation’s mill and carbon-in-leach (CIL) tanks, where 978,000 tonnes of ore was processed at a grade of 0.84 grams per tonne.

This will allow for the first three years of processing at Karlawinda to reach 4.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 5Mtpa of an oxide/fresh ore blend.

From year four and beyond, Karlawinda will produce 4Mtpa to 4.5Mtpa of solely fresh rock ore.

The CIL tanks neared construction completion by the end of September, with final additional equipment due for delivery and installation over the final quarter of 2021.

Other activities over the quarter at Karlawinda included mining of the Bibra open pit where 2.1 million BCM (bank cubic metres) was mined.

About 1.5 million BCM of waste material was used primarily for the construction of Karlawinda’s second lift in the tailings storage facility.

The airstrip at Karlawinda also progressed with subgrade and subbase compacted in preparation for the basecourse layer material.

Capricorn came to a deal during the September quarter with a major contractor to protect the air strip against inclement weather.

“Agreement was reached with MACA Mining to seal the air strip to ensure all weather access,” Capricorn stated.

“It is expected that this will extend the construction period until the end of the December 2021 quarter.”

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