Deflector mine sees silver lining of mill upgrades


The Deflector operation. Image: Silver Lake Resources

Silver Lake Resources has reaped the rewards of an upgraded mill circuit at the Deflector gold mine in Western Australia, setting a new quarterly throughput record.

The Deflector mill throughput record was 177,305 tonnes in the September quarter after the new carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit was integrated in mid-June.

“The addition of the CIP has delivered a step change in gold recovery as planned, with gold recoveries increasing to 96 per cent compared with the FY21 (financial year 2021) average recovery of 88 per cent,” Silver Lake stated in its quarterly report.

Average mill gold grades also improved on the previous quarter to 5.7 grams of gold per tonne, due to higher grades now being hauled from the Rothsay mine about 100 kilometres southwest of Deflector.

As announced in June, Rothsay remains under development and will be ramped up to peak production throughout the remainder of 2021.

The mine is expected to produce 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes per annum for up to 50,000 ounces of gold.

Roughly 15,000 tonnes of high-grade run-of-mine ore will be preferentially hauled to Deflector every month.

The record throughput at Deflector allowed the mine to achieve record quarterly gold production of 31,033 ounces of gold and 251 tonnes of copper.

This gold production was up 22 per cent on the previous quarter, while copper was down due to lower grades.

With a slightly higher contribution from the Mount Monger mine of 33,914 ounces, Silver Lake produced 64,947 ounces of gold for the September quarter.

The company stated that it was well positioned to sell up to 255,000 ounces of gold for the 2022 financial year and would enjoy ongoing benefits from investing in its processes.

“Silver Lake delivered a record quarterly production result at Deflector, demonstrating the returns expected to be generated over the coming years from the significant capital investment in FY21,” the company stated.

“Deflector enjoys some of the highest margins in the sector today as a result of the combination of exploration success, investment and the continuing focus on operational delivery.”

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