Echo Resources has confirmed the redevelopment of its Yandal gold project in Western Australia as technically robust, capable of generating $225 million over a modest mine life.
The company will refurbish Yandal’s existing Bronzewing processing plant and associated infrastructure, with ore sourced from stage one open pits at Orelia and Julius.
Yandal’s completed bankable feasibility study (BFS) validated its potential to process 6.9 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.86 grams per tonne for around 379,000 ounces over four years.
The additional four years of mine life from stage two ore reserves – comprising 408,000 ounces – have not been included in the BFS “for conservatism,” according to an Echo announcement.
Echo is pursuing further resource conversion and advanced exploration opportunities across its 1600-square-kilometre tenement package.
“This package has already yielded four million ounces of gold production, yet contains numerous highly prospective areas that have lacked systematic exploration,” Echo managing director Victor Rajasooriar said.
“This exploration strategy, combined with discussions regarding regional asset and corporate consolidation, has the potential to create and expose our shareholders to a multi-mine business producing well in excess of 100,000 ounces per annum.”
Julius pit will be mined in a single stage and the Orelia pit in two stages (1A and 1B). The stage 1A pit will deepen the existing pit’s floor to target higher grade, lower strip ratio ore. The stage 1B pit will include a cutback to the west and north walls as well as deepening below the stage 1A floor.
The refurbishment of Bronzewing, which was placed under care and maintenance in 2013, is expected to take up 20 weeks to complete and will dictate the timing of operations start-up. Echo has received all major permits required to commence development and mining.
The Yandal project, centred on Bronzewing, is 83 kilometres north-east of Leinster and 800 kilometres north-east of Perth.