Evolution keeps NSW operations afloat amid drought

Evolution Mining's Cowal site.

Evolution Mining has lifted its production for the current financial year to 362,857 ounces, but water restrictions across New South Wales could make the March quarter a challenge.

The company produced 170,890 ounces of gold across its operations at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1069 per ounce in the December quarter.

Evolution has now reduced its reliance on surface fresh water at the Cowal gold mine in the East Lachlan region of New South Wales as the state continues to battle ongoing severe drought conditions.

New South Wales has stage three water restrictions in place but these have the potential to increase should the drought continue.

Evolution has started installing a second pipeline across Lake Cowal, which will increase pumping capacity by around 30 per cent.

This will give the site the ability to pump water from current and future saline bore fields, with project completion expected during the March quarter.

Evolution also plans to increase its saline water extraction through two additional bores in the eastern saline bore field. These are expected to commission in the June quarter.

In Queensland, Evolution lowered its production guidance for the Mt Carlton mine from 95,000 to 105,000 ounces to 70,000 to 75,000 ounces.

Its completed geological review shows that the main hydrothermal breccia zone, which encompasses the bulk of mineralisation in the V2 pit thinned to a series of narrower, high-grade feeder structures at shallower depths.

This unanticipated ore tonne loss is predicted to impact the Mt Carlton mine’s all-in sustaining cost for this year, pushing it from the original $800 to $850 an ounce to between $1150 and $1225 an ounce.

Looking ahead, drilling is due to start at Crush Creek, 30 kilometres south of Mt Carlton in June.

Evolution aims to extend the high-grade vein-style mineralisation intersected in the area during previous drilling.

Meanwhile, the gold miner remains committed to complete its acquisition of the Red Lake Gold Complex in northwest Ontario, Canada by March this year.

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